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Scaling of quasi-brittle fracture : a boundary effect model

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kai Duan, X Hu
The common size effect on quasi-brittle fracture of concrete-like materials is analysed by a simple asymptotic analysis based on a boundary effect model originally proposed for a large plate with a small edge crack. The large plate analysis considers exclusively the interaction of the crack-tip fracture process zone with the specimen front face and its influence on the fracture conditions. The new asymptotic model considers both the specimen boundary and size, and thus extends the boundary effect model to the size effect study on finite-sized specimens. The new boundary effect model shows that the specimen size alone is not sufficient in determination of the size effect on quasi-brittle fracture behaviour, the specimen boundary conditions have to be considered as well. It is shown that even very large specimens that normally do not show any size effect can still experience quasi-brittle fracture if they contain very shallow or very deep cracks. The new boundary effect model uses the two well-defined fracture criteria, the tensile strength and fracture toughness, as its two asymptotic limits, which allows the determination of the two important material constants from the quasi-brittle fracture results. The size effect issue in concrete specimens without initial notches is also studied by the asymptotic model after assuming the natural pre-existing defects in concrete as very shallow notches. The geometrically similar specimen condition can be satisfied by those assumed shallow notched specimens.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


Parent Title

Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Fracture (ICF11), Turin, Italy, 20-25 March 2005.

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End Page


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Start Date





Turin, Italy



Place of Publication

Turin, Italy

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

University of Western Australia;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Conference on Fracture