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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7989346, 14 pages
Research Article

Effects of Voids on Concrete Tensile Fracturing: A Mesoscale Study

College of Water Conservancy and Hydropower Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Lei Xu

Received 21 December 2016; Accepted 30 March 2017; Published 24 April 2017

Academic Editor: Francesco Caputo

Copyright © 2017 Lei Xu and Yefei Huang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A two-dimensional mesoscale modeling framework, which considers concrete as a four-phase material including voids, is developed for studying the effects of voids on concrete tensile fracturing under the plane stress condition. Aggregate is assumed to behave elastically, while a continuum damaged plasticity model is employed to describe the mechanical behaviors of mortar and ITZ. The effects of voids on the fracture mechanism of concrete under uniaxial tension are first detailed, followed by an extensive investigation of the effects of void volume fraction on concrete tensile fracturing. It is found that both the prepeak and postpeak mesoscale cracking in concrete are highly affected by voids, and there is not a straightforward relation between void volume fraction and the postpeak behavior due to the randomness of void distribution. The fracture pattern of concrete specimen with voids is controlled by both the aggregate arrangement and the distribution of voids, and two types of failure modes are identified for concrete specimens under uniaxial tension. It is suggested that voids should be explicitly modeled for the accurate fracturing simulation of concrete on the mesoscale.