Analysis of the behavior of ultra high performance concrete at early age

Lin Wan, Roman Wendner*, Benliang Liang, Gianluca Cusatis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Ultra high performance concretes (UHPCs) are cementitious composite materials with high level of performance characterized by high compressive strength, high tensile strength and superior durability. These are reached by a low water-to-binder ratio, optimized aggregate size distribution, thermal activation, and fiber reinforcement. In the past couple of decades, more and more UHPCs have been developed and found their ways into practice. Thus, the demand for computational models capable of describing and predicting relevant aging phenomena to assist design and planning is increasing. This paper presents the early age experimental characterization as well as the results of subsequent simulations of a typical UHPC matrix. Performed and simulated tests include unconfined compression, splitting (Brazilian), and three-point-bending tests. The computational framework is constructed by coupling a hygro-thermo-chemical (HTC) theory and a comprehensive mesoscale discrete model with formulated aging functions. The HTC component allows taking into account various types of curing conditions with varying temperature and relative humidity and predicting the level of concrete aging. The mechanical component, the Lattice Discrete Particle Model (LDPM), permits the simulation of the failure behavior of concrete at the length scale of major heterogeneities. The aging functions relate the mesoscale LDPM mechanical properties in terms of aging degree, defined in this work as the ratio between the quasi-static elastic modulus at a certain age and its asymptotic value. The obtained results provide insights into UHPC early age mechanisms yielding a computational model for the analysis of aging UHPC structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-135
Number of pages16
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Early age
  • Hygro-thermo-chemical model
  • Lattice discrete particle model
  • UHPC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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