The three volumes of Fracture Mechanics of Concrete and Concrete Structures comprise the Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Fracture Mechanics of Concrete and Concrete Structures, Catania, Italy, 17-22 June 2007.
Volume 1, New Trends in Fracture Mechanics of Concrete, is divided into four parts: (1) Theoretical and Numerical Methods in Fracture Mechanics of Concrete; (2) Experimental Methods in Fracture Mechanics of Concrete; (3) Constitutive Damage Modelling of Concrete; (4) Time Effects in the Damage and Fracture of Concrete.
Over the last twenty years, many theoretical, numerical and experimental methods have evolved in the field of Fracture Mechanics of Concrete. These have led to practical applications in reinforced-concrete design, assessment, monitoring and retrofitting, as well as innovative high-performance and durable cementitious materials. Although Fracture Mechanics of Concrete is now mature as a framework for defining and solving a variety of engineering problems, there is still much work to be done in improving previous theoretical and numerical models, and for re-interpreting established phenomena. In particular, there are new developments in the treatment of scale effects; the implementation of 3D-discretisation; and the combination of continuous and discontinuous models. Other areas of rapid progress are the development of innovative testing techniques; the proposal of non-local and anisotropic constitutive laws; the formulation of lattice and multiscale models, and the development of coupled multifield theories.
Volume 2, Design, Assessment and Retrofitting of RC Structures, also has four parts: (1) Theoretical and Experimental Investigation on the Mechanical Behaviour of RC Structures; (2) Practical Problems in RC Structural Applications; (3) Monitoring and Assessment of RC Structures ; (4) Maintenance and Retrofitting of RC Structures.
Fracture Mechanics is used to interpret different problems: anchor fastening; plastic rotation capacity in RC beams; and minimum reinforcement and ductility. It is also relevant to questions of size effect; flexural-shear-crushing failure mode transition; cohesive crack modelling; and rebar corrosion. Traditional problems arising in RC structures are also reconsidered and reinterpreted: crack width evaluation; dynamic and impact loading; fire and thermal degradation; fatigue strength assessment; as well as punching and spalling. Monitoring and assessment issues in RC structures come under discussion, such as acoustic emission and ultra sound. Maintenance and retrofitting techniques are treated, including the increasing popular technique of fibre-reinforced polymer sheets used as wrapping around cracked structures, for example, to strengthen beams and columns.
Volume 3, High-Performance Concrete, Brick-Masonry and Environmental Aspects, is divided into four parts: (1) High-Performance Concrete; (2) Fiber Reinforced Concrete; (3) Brick-Masonry and other Quasi-Brittle Materials; and (4) Environmental Issues.
Concrete technology has developed at a fast pace during the last two decades and material performance has been significantly improved. High-performance concrete (HPC) is now a reality. Initially, attention focused on compressive strength and the enhanced concrete was named “high-strength concrete” (HSC). Later, however, other issues arose, such as workability and durability. There was an increasing demand for enhanced rheology (in terms of flowability and cohesion, i.e. no segregation effects) in the fresh state, and compactness in the hardened state. Researchers responded with the development of self-consolidating concrete (SCC). Since higher strength generally implies higher brittleness, fibre-reinforced concrete (FRC) has generated considerable interest for its enhanced toughness under both static and dynamic loading, as well as for its ability to control concrete cracking. Nowadays, there are many types of fibre on the market, with different material and geometric qualities. The remarkable toughness of FRC, due to its fracture energy, combined with advances of nonlinear fracture-mechanics in modelling the structural behaviour, means that the advantages of incorporating fibres can be fully exploited. Furthermore, by adopting optimized mix-designs (in terms of fibre content and type, and of pozzolanic or hydraulically-active adjuncts) the increasingly important requirements of durability can be met, even under the most severe environmental conditions (like chemical aggression, high and low temperatures, and fatigue). Recently, the field fracture mechanics has extended to other brittle or quasi-brittle materials, such as brick-masonry, glass, polymers and ice, and a more realistic evaluation of the safety level of structures has been obtained.
These proceedings present a wealth of information, and will be useful to professional civil engineers, postgraduate students and researchers.