Study of crack propagation in concrete under multiple loading rates by acoustic emission

Original Article


It is of great importance to investigate the effect of multiple loading rates on the crack propagation of brittle material such as concrete using acoustic emission because engineering structures are subjected to multiple loading conditions. Although material behaviour under single loading mode has been extensively studied, very limited research has been conducted to investigate the performance of brittle materials subjected to varying loading conditions. This paper presents an experimental study of the effects of single and multiple strain rates on cement mortar samples using acoustic emission. A total number of 81 concrete specimens were tested, in this 28 samples were tested in constant strain rate, whereas rest 53 samples were tested in multiple loading rates. Axial strain, lateral strain and acoustic emission counts were recorded continuously until the specimens had failed. The results showed that concrete behaves differently under multiple loading rates. Acoustic emission was in close agreement with the crack propagation and damage of concrete samples.


Concrete Acoustic emission Cracks propagation Single strain Multiple strain rates 

List of symbols




Acoustic emission


The acoustic emission cumulative damage parameter


Crack damage threshold


Axial stress


Accumulated number of AE


Integration constant

a, b, m and B

Empirical constants


Damage at the ultimate strength


Initial damage


Damage at ultimate strain


Threshold amplitude of the measuring system


Young’s modulus of a damaged material


Young’s modulus of an intact material


Damage at the ultimate strength


Strain rate 1


Strain rate 2


Damage parameter


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science and TechnologyFederation University AustraliaBallaratAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia

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