Mesoscale modelling of the dynamic tensile strength enhancement of concrete in spalling tests using interface elements

Rongxin Zhou*, Yong Lu, Wei Wang, Changzheng Cheng, Zhitang Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The dynamic tensile strength of concrete has been experimentally reported to increase significantly with the increase of imposed strain rates. However, the intrinsic mechanisms accounting for the strength increase are not well understood so far. This paper presented numerical simulations based on the spalling technique to further explore mechanisms of the dynamic responses of concrete under impact loadings. Numerical results have been verified and validated against experimental evidence with various strain rates. The validity of utilizing the Novikov acoustic processing approximation for obtaining the spalling strength of concrete is identified and discussed. Results demonstrate that this indirect processing approach could overestimate the spalling strength because real material behavior tends to deviate from its basic assumption. Mechanisms accounting for the spalling strength increase from key aspects including the meso-structure, the strain rate-dependent material behaviour, the micro-crack inertia, and the structural inertial are also identified accordingly. Results demonstrate that the increment of concrete dynamic tensile strength in spalling tests is mainly caused by the strain rate-dependent material behaviour which should be incorporated in the material constitutive description. Besides that, the material heterogeneity also makes a considerable contribution to the increase of dynamic tensile strength in spalling tests and this contribution becomes increasingly prominent with the increase of the imposed strain rates. On the other hand, the structure inertial and the micro-crack inertial have little effect on the increase of spalling strength of concrete and thus may be ignored within the imposed strain rate range in spalling tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109808
Number of pages20
JournalEngineering Fracture Mechanics
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Concrete
  • Dynamic responses
  • Mesoscale modelling
  • Spalling tests
  • Tensile strength enhancement


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