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Micromechanical modelling of deformation and fracture of hydrating cement paste using X-ray computed tomography characterisation

Zhang, M; Jivkov, AP; (2016) Micromechanical modelling of deformation and fracture of hydrating cement paste using X-ray computed tomography characterisation. Composites Part B: Engineering , 88 pp. 64-72. 10.1016/j.compositesb.2015.11.007. Green open access

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Abstract

Cement paste is the basic but most complex component in cement composites, which are the dominant construction material in the world. Understanding and predicting elastic properties and fracture of hydrating cement paste are challenging tasks due to its complex microstructure, but important for durability assessments and life extension decisions. A recently proposed microstructure-informed site-bond model with elastic-brittle spring bundles is developed further to predict the evolution of elastic properties and fracture behaviour of cement paste. It is based on microstructural characteristics of hydrating cement paste obtained from X-ray computed microtomography (micro-CT) with a spatial resolution of 0.5 μm/voxel. Volume fraction and size distribution of anhydrous cement grains are used to determine the model length scale and pore-less elasticity. Porosity and pore size distribution are used for tuning elastic and failure properties of individual bonds. The fracture process is simulated by consecutive removal of bonds subjected to surface energy based failure criterion. The stress–strain response and elastic properties of hardened cement pastes with curing ages of 1, 7 and 28 days are obtained. The simulated Young's modulus and deformation response prior to peak stress agree very well with the experimental data. The proposed model provides an effective tool to evaluate time evolution of elastic properties and to simulate the initiation, propagation, coalescence and localisation of micro-cracks.

Type: Article
Title: Micromechanical modelling of deformation and fracture of hydrating cement paste using X-ray computed tomography characterisation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.compositesb.2015.11.007
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compositesb.2015.11.00...
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Fracture, Microstructures, Mechanical properties, Micro-mechanics, X-ray computed tomography
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477398
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