Size effect in concrete under tension is studied by Monte Carlo simulations of mesoscale finite element models containing random inclusions (aggregates and pores) with prescribed volume fractions, shapes and size distributions (called meso-structure controls). For a given size and a set of controls, a number of realisations with different spatial distribution of inclusions are simulated to produce statistical data for macroscopic load/stress–strain curves. The complex meso-crack initiation and propagation is captured by pre-inserted cohesive interface elements. The effects of specimen size and meso-structure controls on macroscopic strength and toughness are analysed, and empirical size-effect laws for their dependences are proposed by data regression. It is also shown that the mesoscale porosity affects both strength and toughness and should not be ignored in size effect studies of concrete.
Bibliographical noteUnder a Creative Commons License
- Size effect
- Monte Carlo simulations
- Cohesive crack models
- Meso-scale modelling