Applications of Fracture Mechanics to Concrete: Where Do We Go From Here?

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Title: Applications of Fracture Mechanics to Concrete: Where Do We Go From Here?

Author(s): S. Mindess

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 206

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 475-486

Keywords: fracture mechanics, linear elastic fracture mechanics, non-linear fracture mechanics, reinforced concrete

Date: 4/1/2002

Abstract:
Fracture mechanics concepts were first applied to concrete in 1959, and since then several thousand papers have been published on this topic. Professor Shah himself has contributed many papers in this area, dating back to 1971. The first attemps at utilizing fracture mechanics in concrete research dealt with linear elastic fracture mechanics in concrete research dealt with linear elastic fracture mechanics. However, it soon became apparent that this was insufficient to characterize a heterogeneous, non-linear elastic material such as concrete. Thus, a variety of non-linear fracture mechanics models were developed to try to better describe the fracture and failure of concrete. Unfortunately, despite a great deal of researh, both theoretical and experimental, fracture mechanics concepts are still seldom used in the design of concrete structures, particularlay in North America. For instance, they are not even mentioned in the current ACI 318 Building kCode Requirements for Structural Concrete, or in the kCanadian CSA Standard A23.3 Design of Concrete Structures. It is the purpose of this paper to review briefly the current position of fracture mechanics in concrete applications, and then to look to possible future developments.