Simulation study on the stress distribution in modeled recycled aggregate concrete under uniaxial compression

Jianzhuang Xiao*, Wengui Li, David J. Corr, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


To investigate the stress distribution in recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) under uniaxial compression, modeled recycled aggregate concrete (MRAC) was studied by numerical simulation. The mechanical properties of interfacial transition zones (ITZs) of RAC were measured by the nanoindentation technique. A two-dimensional numerical study of the stress distribution characteristics of MRAC under the uniaxial compression is presented. The simulation was verified by experimental results. A parametric analysis is then conducted to study the sensitivity of each phase's mechanical properties and the amounts of old cement mortar in the MRAC. Simulation results demonstrate that a concentration of tensile stress and shear stress appears around new and old ITZ regions. It is found that when the elastic modulus of natural aggregates increases, the magnitude of tensile stress concentration becomes higher, whereas as the elastic modulus of ITZs increases, the magnitude of stress concentration decreases. It is also shown that the higher relative elastic modulus of new cement mortar compared with that of the old cement mortar significantly reduces the stress concentrations at the regions between recycled coarse aggregate particles. The amount of old cement mortar affects the stress distribution in the new ITZ much more obviously than that in the old ITZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-518
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • Interfacial transition zone (ITZ)
  • Meso/micro scale
  • Modeled recycled aggregate concrete (MRAC)
  • Numerical simulation
  • Parametric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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