New Computational Model Based on Finite Element Method to Quantify Damage Evolution Due to External Sulfate Attack on Self-Compacting Concretes
KAUST DepartmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
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AbstractAbstract: This work combines experimental and numerical investigations to study the mechanical degradation of self-compacting concrete under accelerated aging conditions. Four different experimental treatments are tested among them constant immersion and immersion-drying protocols allow an efficient external sulfate attack of the material. Significant damage is observed due to interfacial ettringite. A predictive analysis is then adopted to quantify the relationship between ettringite growth and mechanical damage evolution during aging. Typical 3D microstructures representing the cement paste-aggregate structures are generated using Monte Carlo scheme. These images are converted into a finite element model to predict the mechanical performance under different criteria of damage kinetics. The effect of ettringite is then associated to the development of an interphase of lower mechanical properties. Our results show that the observed time evolution of Young's modulus is best described by a linear increase of the interphase content. Our model results indicate also that the interphase regions grow at maximum stress regions rather than exclusively at interfaces. Finally, constant immersion predicts a rate of damage growth five times lower than that of immersion-drying protocol. © 2012 Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering.