Demolition of concrete by thermal shock spallation: a mesoscopic numerical study based on embedded discontinuity finite elements

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Abstract

This paper deals with 2D (plane strain) and axisymmetric numerical modelling of concrete fracture processes under mechanical and thermal loading. A mesoscopic modelling approach with an explicit representation of aggregates as Voronoi polygons is chosen while the concrete fracture model is based on rate-dependent embedded discontinuity finite elements with Rankine criterion indicating a new crack initiation. This choice enables the study of the effects of inherent crack populations on the response of concrete under mechanical and thermal loading. In the numerical examples, the performance of the present modelling approach is first demonstrated in the uniaxial compression and tension tests under plane strain conditions. Then, the problem of thermal spallation of concrete surface under dry conditions due to a high intensity, short duration heat flux is simulated under axisymmetric conditions. The underlying uncoupled thermo-mechanical problem is solved with an explicit time marching scheme based on the staggered approach. Different heat flux intensities and heating times as well as combined effect of surface roughness and pre-stress field are tested. The simulation results suggest that demolition of concrete structures by heat shock is a viable method.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191–217
Number of pages27
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF FRACTURE
Volume225
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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