Implementation of fracture test of concrete to determine fracture properties

Plancke, Bram
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This master thesis aims at implementing a three-point-bending test for concrete where the fracture energy can be deduced. The test will also try to record the softening curve of concrete after cracking. The Digital Image Correlation (DIC) technique will also be applied, for the most interesting case, in order to determine the strain field along the test. For this purpose, test procedures have to be studied along with acquiring detailed knowledge on the fracture energy GF. Multiple tests will be performed to assess data and to interpret results, so conclusions could be formed. The main goal of this thesis is carrying out a three-point-bending test for concrete where the fracture energy can be derived. Therefore, a state-of-the-art review concerning fracture mechanics of concrete is first needed. Correct results for the fracture energy and bilinear softening curve of concrete are what are aimed for. Although the AMADE research group has precious experience in fracture mechanics of composite materials, it was the first time this test was performed for concrete at the UdG. Like all research where little in that specific field is known, a lot can go wrong. Failure of tests, incorrect or unusable data, adaptations to test setups, unclear instructions… Solutions to all those complications must be found before reaching correct results. Whenever it is clear why these correct results cannot be obtained, and a probable solution to the problem can be presented, and using/analysing the DIC (Digital Image Correlation) technique is comprehended, the goal of this thesis is reached ​
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