Mechanics-Based Modeling of Strength Distribution of Concrete Structures: Problems and Progress

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Title: Mechanics-Based Modeling of Strength Distribution of Concrete Structures: Problems and Progress

Author(s): Jia-Liang Le and Zdenek P. Bazant

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 300

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 1-24

Keywords:

Date: 3/11/2015

Abstract:
This paper reviews a recently developed finite weakest link model of strength of concrete structures, which fail under controlled load at macro-crack initiation from one representative volume element (RVE). The probability distribution of RVE strength is derived from the well-established transition rate theory and a hierarchical multi-scale transition model. The model predicts that the strength distribution of concrete structures depends on the structure size and geometry, transiting from a predominantly Gaussian distribution to a Weibull distribution as the structure size increases. It is shown that the present model agrees well with the strength histograms of Portland cement mortar measured by Weibull, which consistently deviate from the classical Weibull distribution. The importance of size effect for the reliability analysis of large concrete structures is then demonstrated through the analysis of the failure of the Malpsset Dam. Both the present model and the available experimental data invalidate the three-parameter Weibull distribution for concrete structures.