Multiple Pseudo-Plastic Appearance of the Dynamic Fracture in Quasi-Brittle Materials

Riganti, Gianmario and Cadoni, Ezio (2020) Multiple Pseudo-Plastic Appearance of the Dynamic Fracture in Quasi-Brittle Materials. Materials, 13 (21). ISSN 1996-1944

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Understanding and simulating the dynamic response of quasi-brittle materials still remains as one of the most challenging issues in structural engineering. This paper presents the damage propagation material model (DAMP) developed in order to obtain reliable results for use in structural engineering practice. A brief overview focuses on the differences between fracture mechanics studies, and engineering material modelling is presented to highlight possible guideline improvements. An experimental dynamic test performed on ultra-high-performance concrete specimens was used to obtain evidence of the physical behaviour of brittle materials with respect to specimen size variations and, consequently, to verify the reliability of the material equations proposed. Two widely used material models (RHT and M72R3), as representatives of the classical brittle material models for structural purposes, and the proposed material model are compared. Here, we show how: (i) the multiple structural strength of brittle materials arises from the damage propagation process, (ii) there is no contradiction between fracture mechanics and the engineering approach once the velocity of damage propagation is chosen as fundamental material property and (iii) classical dynamic material models are intrinsically not objective with related loss of predictive capability. Finally, the original material model equation and the experimental strategy, dedicated to its extended verification, will be shown in order to increase the design predictiveness in the dynamic range considering structure and specimen size variations. The dynamic stress increasing factor (DIF), experimentally observed and widely recognised in literature as a fundamental concept for quasi-brittle material modelling, has been reviewed and decomposed in its geometrical and material dependencies. The new material model defines its DIF starting from the physical quantities of the damage propagation velocity applied to the test case boundary conditions. The resultant material model predictiveness results improved greatly, demonstrating its ability to model several dynamic events considering size and dynamic load variations with a unique material property set without showing contradictions between numerical and experimental approaches.

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