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For the design of concrete structures where adequate ductility is a concern, it is becoming increasingly necessary to use concepts based on crack growth and propagation to account for ductility and avoid catastrophic failure. While fracture based methods exist for steel design, no standard method currently exists to quantify the fracture properties of concrete. In light of a multitude of recent investigations to describe the complex nature of concrete fracture, it is currently accepted that two parameters are required to characterize crack propagation in concrete. This paper provides a brief background for the use of fracture mechanics in concrete and appeals for the establishment of standardized testing procedures for use in concrete. If appropriately determined, fracture parameters can provide a valuable tool for the design of new higher performance concretes and concrete structures.
Walter P. Murphy professor of civil engineering and director of the NSF Center for Science and Technology of Advanced Cement-Based Materials, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Stock #: CCA10319J