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Fracture analysis of spun-cast concrete poles using the phase-field method

Azim Azary, Ali
Shrinkage is an important type of deformation in hardening concrete, which happens mainly in the cement paste and may cause significant damage if restrained. Spun-cast concrete poles are among structural members that are prone to this type of damage if not fabricated properly. They are used extensively in structures such as columns, piles, and utility poles to name a few. In this thesis, we study the differential shrinkage-induced cracking in spun-cast members computationally using the Phase Field Method within the framework of the Finite Element Method. The Phase Field Method is a thermodynamically based method that is often used to model phase changes and evolving microstructures in materials. The Phase Field Models based on variational formulation for fracture has become popular recently, and proven capable of accurately predicting complex crack behavior in both two and three dimensions. The performance of the proposed approach to the differential shrinkage-induced cracking is demonstrated through the representative numerical examples.