Integration of 3D Imaging and Discrete Element Modeling for Concrete Fracture Problems

E. N. Landis1 — J. E. Bolander2

1University of MaineDepartment of Civil & Environmental Engineering5711 Boardman HallOrono, Maine 04469,


2University of California DavisDepartment of Civil & Environmental Engineering3121 Engineering Unit IIIDavis, California 95616,

ABSTRACT. This paper describes a collaboration where synchrotron-based x-ray CT images of micromechanical experiments on cement-based composites are used to develop discrete element computational models of the material. Preliminary results are presented showing how 3D images are used to create computational models, as well as the resulting simulations from those models. The results show a good qualitative agreement between simulations and experiments, opening a door that will allow us to establish previously difficult-to-characterize properties such as cement-aggregate interfaces.


KEYWORDS: synchrotron x-ray CT, 3D image analysis, lattice model, fracture

1. Introduction

Predictive simulation of fracture in heterogeneous materials has traditionally been an ill-posed problem due to the complex microstructural features that do not lend themselves to simple geometric representations. Planer cracks, penny-shaped cracks, and spherical inclusions can provide useful insight into damage and fracture behavior, however, they can fall short as honest descriptors of real heterogeneous microstructure. ...

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