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Finite element simulation of crack propagation for steel fiber reinforced concrete

Özenç, Kaan
Steel fibers or fibers in general are utilized in concrete to control the tensile cracking and to increase its toughness. In literature, the effects of fiber geometry, mechanical properties, and volume on the properties of fiber reinforced concrete have often been experimentally investigated by numerous studies. Those experiments have shown that useful improvements in the mechanical behavior of brittle concrete are achieved by incorporating steel fibers. This study proposes a simulation platform to determine the influence of fibers on crack propagation and fracture behavior of fiber reinforced concrete. For this purpose, a finite element (FE) simulation tool is developed for the fracture process of fiber reinforced concrete beam specimens subjected to flexural bending test. Within this context, the objective of this study is twofold. The first one is to investigate the effects of finite element mesh size and element type on stress intensity factor (SIF) calculation through finite element analysis. The second objective is to develop a simulation of the fracture process of fiber reinforced concrete beam specimens. The properties of the materials, obtained from literature, and the numerical simulation procedure, will be explained. The effect of fibers on SIF is included by unidirectional elements with nonlinear generalized force-deflection capability. Distributions and orientation of fibers and possibility of anchorage failure are also added to simulation. As a result of this study it was observed that with the adopted simulation tool, the load-deflection relation obtained by experimental studies is predicted reasonably.