Spatially random modulus and tensile strength : Contribution to variability of strain, damage, and fracture in concrete

Daniel Castillo*, Tuan H.A. Nguyen, Jarkko Niiranen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
38 Downloads (Pure)


This paper explores the computational modeling of nonlocal strain, damage, and fracture in concrete, considering the isolated contribution of two random, spatially variable properties related to the fracture process: Young’s modulus (E) and tensile strength (ft). Applying a continuum damage model, heterogeneous specimens of concrete with random and spatially varying E or ft were found to produce substantial differences when contrasted with traditional homogeneous (non-random) specimens. These differences include variable and uncertain strain and damage, wandering of the failure paths, and differing (sometimes lower) peak forces, i.e. increased probabilities of failure in the heterogeneous specimens. It is found that ft variability contributes more (from 1.7 to up to 4 times more, depending on the parameter) to the overall performance variability of the concrete than E variability, which has a comparatively lower contribution. Performance is evaluated using (1) force-displacement response, (2) individual, average, and standard deviation maps of non-local strain and damage, (3) fracture paths and strain and damage values along the fractures. The modeling methodology is illustrated for two specimen geometries: a square plate with a circular hole, and an L-shaped plate. The computational results correlate well with reported experimental data of fracture in concrete specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10567895211013081
Pages (from-to)1497-1523
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Damage Mechanics
Issue number10
Early online date21 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • concrete
  • Damage
  • fracture
  • material properties
  • quasi-brittle
  • spatially random


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