Multiscale Homogenization Analysis of Alkali–Silica Reaction (ASR) Effect in Concrete

Roozbeh Rezakhani, Mohammed Alnaggar, Gianluca Cusatis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


The alkali–silica reaction (ASR) is one of the major long-term deterioration mechanisms occurring in concrete structures subjected to high humidity levels, such as bridges and dams. ASR is a chemical reaction between the silica existing inside the aggregate pieces and the alkali ions from the cement paste. This chemical reaction produces ASR gel, which imbibes additional water, leading to gel swelling. Damage and cracking are subsequently generated in concrete, resulting in degradation of its mechanical properties. In this study, ASR damage in concrete is considered within the lattice discrete particle model (LDPM), a mesoscale mechanical model that simulates concrete at the scale of the coarse aggregate pieces. The authors have already modeled successfully ASR within the LDPM framework and they have calibrated and validated the resulting model, entitled ASR-LDPM, against several experimental data sets. In the present work, a recently developed multiscale homogenization framework is employed to simulate the macroscale effects of ASR, while ASR-LDPM is utilized as the mesoscale model. First, the homogenized behavior of the representative volume element (RVE) of concrete simulated by ASR-LDPM is studied under both tension and compression, and the degradation of effective mechanical properties due to ASR over time is investigated. Next, the developed homogenization framework is utilized to reproduce experimental data reported on the free volumetric expansion of concrete prisms. Finally, the strength degradation of prisms in compression and four-point bending beams is evaluated by both the mesoscale model and the proposed multiscale approach in order to analyze the accuracy and computational efficiency of the latter. In all the numerical analyses, different RVE sizes with different inner particle realizations are considered in order to explore their effects on the homogenized response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1139-1154
Number of pages16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Alkali–silica reaction
  • Lattice discrete particle model
  • Multiscale homogenization
  • Representative volume element

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Engineering(all)

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