446.1R-91: Fracture Mechanics of Concrete: Concepts, Models and Determination of Material Properties (Reapproved 1999)
ACI Committee 446
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Fracture mechanics is a theory of failure which was originated in 1921 by Griffith and was for a long time applied only to metallic structures and ceramics. Concrete structures, on the other hand, have so far been successfully designed and built without any use of fracture mechanics, even though their failure process involves crack propagation. This is not surprising since the proper type of fracture mechanics that takes into account the growth of distributed cracking and its localization into major fractures was unknown until recently. During the 1980s, however, such a type of fracture mechanics has emerged, as a result of an explosion in research activity. Fracture specialists became convinced that introduction of fracture mechanics into the design of concrete structures, both reinforced and plain, is inevitable and will eventually bring about a revolution comparable to the advent of plastic limit analysis during 1930-1970. It will significantly improve structural safety and economy and will be particularly important for safe exploitation of the capabilities of high-strength and fiber-reinforced concretes.