Microstructure and fracture in three dimensions
Publication Name: Engineering Fracture Mechanics
A high resolution three dimensional (3D) scanning technique called X-ray microtomography was used to measure internal crack growth in small mortar cylinders under compressive loading. Tomographic scans were made at different load increments in the same specimen. 3D image analysis was used to measure internal crack growth during each load increment. Load-deformation curves were used to measure the corresponding work of the external load on the specimen. Fracture energy was calculated using a linear elastic fracture mechanics approach using the measured surface area of the internal cracks created. The measured fracture energy was of the same magnitude that is typically measured in concrete tensile fracture. A nominally bilinear incremental fracture energy curve was measured. Separate components for crack formation energy and secondary toughening mechanisms are proposed. The secondary toughening mechanisms were found to be about three times the initial crack formation energy.