Engineering Mechanics Institute Conference 2013

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Multiscale Simulation of Dam Concrete

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Andre Garcia
Northwestern University
United States

Xinwei Zhou
Northwestern University
United States

Gianluca Cusatis
Northwestern University
United States

The extreme complexity of concrete, extending from its nano and micron scale phenomena, has made the accurate modeling of concrete challenging. Herein, we employ a novel multiscale simulation approach that is able to capture the essential mechanics of concrete from the nano to macro level. In this investigation, we describe and predict the mechanical properties of concrete by implementing a mesoscale model, the Lattice Discrete Particle Model (LDPM)1,2.

LDPM describes the interaction between the coarse mesoscale aggregates via constitutive laws that describe tensile fracture, cohesion, friction, and compression, among others. The formulation of the LDPM governing equations relies on discrete compatibility and equilibrium equations. Previous studies1,2 have shown that LDPM fully captures the mechanical response of concrete with a high degree of accuracy when compared to experimental results. Furthermore, LDPM is computationally efficient and supports parallelization. For example, all tests in this study required at most 100 cpu hours.
In this investigation, we perform calibration and validation of standard and dam concrete mixes and compare our simulations with experimental data. A unique feature of the dam concrete mix is the large maximum aggregate size of 64 mm. Simulations includes unconfined compression, confined compression, and three point bending under quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Our results reveal that LDPM is a robust and accurate framework for predicting the mechanical properties of concrete. Specifically, the post peak mechanical response agrees well with experimental data, attesting to the accuracy of LDPM.


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