Crack growth in cement-based composites

R. Ballarini*, S. P. Shah, L. M. Keer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


A model that can be used to predict Mode I crack growth in cement-based composites is presented. The region ahead of a crack tip, where nonlinear deformations and aggregate interlock occur, is modeled as an extension of the actual stress-free crack subjected to a closing pressure that depends on the crack face displacements. In the case of concrete, crack propagation is assumed to occur when the crack opening displacement at the tip of the actual crack reaches a critical value. To predict results, the elastostatics problem of a layer containing a vertical edge crack was solved using a Green's function approach together with integral transform techniques. Stress intensity factors and crack opening displacements were obtained by numerically solving a singular integral equation. The closing pressure function and critical crack tip opening displacement were taken from experimental data for various materials, and the model was applied to the analysis of experiments performed on initially notched concrete and fiber-reinforced mortar beams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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