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Title: Effect of Micro-Particle Addition on Frictional Energy Dissipation and Strength of Concrete: Experiments and Modelling
Authors: Scerrato, Daria
Tutor: dell'Isola, Francesco
Limam, Ali
Keywords: Modified concrete, Continua with microstructure, Frictional sliding
Issue Date: 7-Nov-2014
Abstract: In this thesis, a two-degrees-of-freedom, non-linear model is introduced aiming to describe internal friction phenomena which have been observed in some modified concrete specimens undergoing slow dynamic compression loads and having various amplitudes but never inducing large strains. The motivation for the theoretical effort presented here arose because of the experimental evidence described in some papers in which dissipation loops for concrete-type materials are shown to have peculiar characteristics. Since viscoelastic models –linear or non-linear– do not seem suitable to describe either qualitatively or quantitatively the measured dissipation loops, it is proposed to introduce a micro-mechanism of Coulomb-type internal dissipation associated to the relative motion of the faces of the micro-cracks present in the material. In addition, numerical simulations, showing that the proposed model is suitable to describe some of the available experimental evidences, is presented. These numerical simulations motivate further developments of the considered model and supply a tool for the design of subsequent experimental campaigns. Furthermore, the effect of micro-particle additives such as calcium carbonate on internal dissipation of concrete was experimentally investigated. The damping performance of concrete can be improved by adding to the mixture different kinds of micro-particles with suitable size which fill the pores of the matrix and change the contact interaction between internal surfaces of voids. It was determined that the energy dissipation of the concrete increases with the increasing content of micro particles at least when the concrete matrix is “soft” enough to allow microscopic motions. On the other hand, the increasing percentage of micro-particles addition can affect the mechanical strength of the material. Thus, there is a reasonable compromise in incorporating these micro-particles to obtain higher damping with- out weakening the mechanical properties. Several concrete mixes were prepared by mixing cement powder with different percentages of micro-fillers. A concrete mix without addition of micro-particles was molded as a reference material for the sake of comparison. All these specimens were tested under cyclic loading in order to evaluate energy dissipation starting from the area of a dissipation loop detected in the diagram relative to a representative cycle. The experimental determination of the dissipated energy shows a significant increase in the damping capability of the cement-based materials with micro-filler compared to the standard concrete. The experimental results presented seem to indicate that the proposed model is suitable to describe the mechanical behavior of modified and unmodified concrete, provided that the introduced parameters are suitably tuned in order to best fit the available experimental data.

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