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Title: On the Rate Sensitive Fracture Behavior of Strain-Hardening Cement-Based Composites (SHCC) Depending on Fiber Type and Matrix Composition

Author(s): Iurie Curosu, Viktor Mechtcherine, Daniele Forni, Simone Hempel and Ezio Cadoni

Publication: Symposium Paper

Volume: 347


Appears on pages(s): 1-20

Keywords: SHCC, fiber reinforcement, strain-hardening, PVA, UHMWPE, impact, split Hopkinson tension bar, fracture energy

DOI: 10.14359/51732655

Date: 3/1/2021


Synopsis: Strain-hardening cement-based composites (SHCC) represent a special type of fiber reinforced concretes, whose post-elastic tensile behavior is characterized by the formation of multiple, fine cracks under increasing loading up to failure localization. The high inelastic deformability in the strain-hardening phase together with the high damage tolerance and energy dissipation capacity make SHCC promising for applications involving dynamic loading scenarios, such as earthquake, impact or blast.

However, the main constitutive phases of SHCC, i.e. matrix, fibers and interphase between them, are highly rate sensitive. Depending on the SHCC composition, the increase in loading rates can negatively alter the balanced micromechanical interactions, leading to a pronounced reduction in strain capacity. Thus, there is need for a detailed investigation of the strain rate sensitivity of SHCC at different levels of observation for enabling a targeted material design with respect to high loading rates.

The crack opening behavior is an essential material parameter for SHCC, since it defines to a large extent the tensile properties of the composite. In the paper at hand, the rate effects on the crack opening and fracture behavior of SHCC are analyzed based on quasi-static and impact tensile tests on notched specimens made of three different types of SHCC. Two SHCC consisted of a normal-strength cementitious matrix and were reinforced with polyvinyl-alcohol (PVA) and ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers, respectively. The third type consisted of a high-strength cementitious matrix and UHMWPE fibers. The dynamic tests were performed in a split Hopkinson tension bar and enabled an accurate description of the crack opening behavior in terms of force-displacement relationships at displacement rates of up to 6 m/s (19.7 ft/s).