Multiphysics Lattice Discrete Particle Model for the simulation of concrete thermal spalling

Lei Shen, Weixin Li, Xinwei Zhou, Jun Feng, Giovanni Di Luzio, Qingwen Ren, Gianluca Cusatis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Explosive thermal spalling behavior during fire exposure is one of the major issues in the design of modern reinforced concrete structures. Previous experience on fire disasters indicates that spalling of concrete can have serious structural and economic consequences and must be taken into account in the design for fire. However, spalling mechanisms and their interaction still remain in dispute in the scientific community. In order to shed some light on this phenomenon, a discrete hygro-thermal model of concrete at high temperature called DTemPor3 is proposed and a full coupling scheme between DTemPor3 and the Lattice Discrete Particle Model (LDPM) is performed. The proposed multi-physical coupled model features the effect of pore pressure and temperature on the mechanical response as well as the impact of cracking on moisture mass transport and heat transfer. Simulations of typical spalling experiments show good agreements with data gathered from the literature for both high-performance concrete and ordinary concrete, demonstrating the accuracy of the proposed approach. Cracking localization is found to significantly impede the local pore pressure build-up due to the increase of pore or crack volume. The numerical simulations demonstrate that the spalling phenomenon can be successfully reproduced, only when the effect of thermal stresses is taken in account along with the effect of pore pressure on crack initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103457
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Concrete thermal spalling
  • High temperature
  • Hygro-thermal coupling
  • Lattice discrete particle model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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