Modelling the effect of concrete cement composition on its strength and failure behavior

Timo Saksala, Kari Kolari, Reijo Kouhia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Typical concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, water, and aggregates. While aggregates have a substantial effect on the concrete strength and fracture behavior, the focus of the present study is on the hardened cement paste which can be further divided into the unreacted core, inner and outer products. In high strength concrete, water-to-cement ratio is low, and thus the distance between cement particles is small. Also, the amount of unreacted (high strength) core is higher, and the porosity is low. When water-to-cement ratio is higher, both the distance between cement particles and the porosity due to capillary pores increases. In the present study, we develop a numerical model based on the embedded discontinuity finite elements to predict the effect of the water-to-cement ratio on the compressive fracture behavior of concrete. Representative 2D plane strain simulations demonstrate that the present method captures the major features of concrete fracture and, particularly, qualitatively predicts the known effects of the water-to-cement ratio on concrete compressive strength.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-65
JournalRakenteiden Mekaniikka
Volume55
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • cement-to-water ratio
  • concrete fracture
  • embedded discontinuities
  • finite elements
  • mesoscopic modelling

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