Process zone and acoustic-emission measurements in concrete

A. Maji*, S. P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


It is necessary to study the microlevel failure mechanisms of a material in order to improve its quality and to develop a rational constitutive model to describe the material. Nonlinearity and strain-softening behavior of concrete has to be incorporated into any model which can be implemented into efficient design. Acoustic-emission (AE) techniques are useful for obtaining information pertaining to internal cracking and investigating the applicability of a particular material model. The process of localization of cracks and movement of the fracture process zone was studied using acoustic-emission techniques. The rate of acoustic-emission events and sources of acoustic-emission activity were studied for plain-mortar and model-concrete specimens loaded in direct tension. The study shows that acoustic-emission events localize to a region near the notch before peak load is attained. The region of activity progresses through the specimen during further loading and subsequent strain softening. Acoustic-emission events were used to locate the fracture-process zone (FPZ), and to check this location against the location of the effective crack tip as evaluated by a modified linear-elastic fracturemechanics model for concrete as well as by microscopical observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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