Cohesive crack analysis of size effect

Gianluca Cusatis, Edward A. Schauffert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


This paper deals with the analysis of size effect in concrete. An extensive campaign of accurate numerical simulations, based on the cohesive crack model, is performed to compute the size effect curves (CSEC) for typical test configurations. The results are analyzed with reference to the classical Bažant's size effect law (SEL) to investigate the relationship between CSEC and SEL. This analysis shows that as specimen size tends to infinity, the SEL represents the asymptote of the CSEC, and that the SEL parameter known as the effective fracture process zone length is a material property which can be expressed as a function of the cohesive crack law (CCL) parameters. Finally, the practical implications of this study are discussed in relation to the use of the CSEC or the SEL for the identification of the CCL parameters through the size effect method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2163-2173
Number of pages11
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Cohesive crack law
  • Concrete
  • Fracture energy
  • Quasi-brittle fracture
  • Size effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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