Title: A Finite Element-Based Methodology for the Thermo-mechanical Analysis of Early Age Behavior in Concrete Structures
Author(s): H. Cifuentes , F. Montero-Chacón, J. Galán, J. Cabezas4 and A. Martínez-De la Concha
Appears on pages(s):
Keywords: heat of hydration, early age cracking, thermo-mechanical model, fracture mechanics of concrete
This paper presents a general procedure based on fracture mechanics models in order to analyze the level of crack-ing and structural safety in reinforced concrete elements at early ages, depending on the stripping time. Our proce-dure involves the development of a thermo-mechanical numerical model based on the ﬁnite element method that accounts for the change in the mechanical properties of concrete with time. Moreover, fracture mechanisms are analyzed by means of a material damage model, which is characterized via speciﬁc experimental results obtained for standard specimens and notched beams under three-point bending testing. The loading conditions are both thermal and mechanical, and are obtained from the hydration process for a given concrete dosage. The presented methodol-ogy allows for the determination of the optimal stripping time, whereas it helps assessing the analysis of the cracking and the stress states of the elements under consideration. A practical application, namely the analysis of a retaining wall, is used to validate our methodology, showing its suitability in engineering practice.