Age-dependent size effect and fracture characteristics of ultra-high performance concrete

Lin Wan-Wendner, Roman Wan-Wendner*, Gianluca Cusatis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


This paper presents an investigation of the age-dependent size effect and fracture characteristics of ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC). The study is based on a unique set of experimental data connecting aging tests for two curing protocols of one size and size effect tests of one age. Both aging and size effect studies are performed on notched three-point bending tests. Experimental data are augmented by state-of-the-art simulations employing a recently developed discrete early-age computational framework. The framework is constructed by coupling a hygro-thermo-chemical (HTC) model and the Lattice Discrete Particle Model (LDPM) through a set of aging functions. The HTC component allows taking into account variable curing conditions and predicts the maturity of concrete. The mechanical component, LDPM, simulates the failure behavior of concrete at the length scale of major heterogeneities. After careful calibration and validation, the mesoscale HTC-LDPM model is uniquely posed to perform predictive simulations. The ultimate flexural strengths from experiments and simulations are analyzed by the cohesive size effect curves (CSEC) method, and the classical size effect law (SEL). The fracture energies obtained by LDPM, CSEC, SEL, and cohesive crack analyses are compared, and an aging formulation for fracture properties is proposed. Based on experiments, simulations, and size-effect analyses, the age-dependence of size effect and the robustness of analytical-size effect methods are evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-82
Number of pages16
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Aging
  • Cohesive crack analysis
  • Fracture energy
  • Size effect
  • Tensile characteristic length
  • UHPC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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