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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24780

Title: Geophysical Imaging and Numerical Modelling of Fractures in Concrete
Authors: Katsaga, Tatyana
Advisor: Young, R. Paul
Department: Civil Engineering
Keywords: acoustic emission
computed tomography
microcracks
fracture
concrete
aggregate interlock
ultrasonic wave velocity
aggregate size
shear failure
uniaxial compression
distinct element method
Issue Date: 13-Aug-2010
Abstract: The goal of this research is to investigate the fundamentals of fracturing processes in heterogeneous materials such as concrete using geophysical methods and dynamic micromechanical models. This work describes how different aspects of fracture formation in concrete can be investigated using a combination of Acoustic Emission (AE) techniques, ultrasonic wave velocity imaging, and high resolution Computed Tomography (CT). Fracture formation and evolution were studied during shear failure of large reinforced concrete beams and compressive failure of concrete samples. AE analysis includes studying complex spatial and temporal fracture development that precedes shear failure. Predominant microcrack mechanisms were analyzed at different stages of fracture formation. CT images were used to investigate the influence of concrete microstructure on fracture topography. Combined AE and CT damage evaluation techniques revealed different aspects of fracture development, thus expanding our understanding of AE events and their mechanisms. These images show how aggregate particles influence fracture nucleation and development. An emphasis has been placed on the role of coarse aggregates during the interlocking of fracture surfaces at transferring shear stresses. Ultrasonic wave velocity and AE techniques have been applied to uniaxial compression tests of concrete with various aggregate sizes and strengths similar to that of the concrete beams. AE parameters, p-wave velocities, and stress-strain data have been analyzed concurrently to image damage evolution under compression. Influence of material composition on microcracking and material state changes during loading has been investigated in detail. The results of compressive tests were used as building blocks for developing realistic micromechanical numerical models of concrete. The models were designed using a distinct element code, where material is modelled through the combination of bonded particles. A number of procedures were developed to transfer the exact microstructure of material incorporating its visual representation into the model. The models’ behaviour has been verified against experimental data. It was shown that these models exhibit realistic micromechanical behaviour. The results of the experimental investigation of concrete fracturing were expanded by modelling more cases with aggregate size and strength variations. It was shown that geophysical imaging techniques, along with advanced micromechanical numerical modelling, can help us understand damage formation and evolution.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/24780
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Civil Engineering - Doctoral theses

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