A rate-independent damage constitutive law is proposed to describe the fracture of plain concrete under tensile loading. Here, the target scale is the individual crack. In order to deal with localised damage, the model is inherently nonlocal: the gradient of the damage field is explicitly involved in the constitutive equations; it is parameterised by a nonlocal length scale which is interpreted as the width of the process zone. The model is defined so that its predictions are close to those of a cohesive law for vanishing nonlocal length scales. Therefore, the current model is plainly consistent with cohesive zone model analyses: the nonlocal length scale appears as a small parameter which does not need any specific identification. And four parameters—among which the tensile strength and the fracture energy—enable to adjust the softening cohesive response. Besides, a special attention has been paid to the shape of the initial damage surface and to the relation between damage and stiffness. The damage surface takes into account not only the contrast between tensile and compressive strengths but also experimental evidences regarding its shape in multiaxial tension. And the damage–stiffness relation is defined so as to describe important phenomena such as the stiffness recovery with crack closure and the sustainability of compressive loads by damaged structures. Finally, several comparisons with experimental data (global force/opening responses, size dependency, curved crack paths, crack opening profiles) enable to validate qualitatively and quantitatively the pertinence of the constitutive law in 2D and 3D.
International Journal of Fracture – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 28, 2017
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