Discrete element modelling of concrete behaviour

Marooden, S
(2018) Discrete element modelling of concrete behaviour. PhD thesis, University of Liverpool.

[img] Text

Download (4MB)


This work presents the study of a three-dimensional (3D) simulation of the concrete behaviour in a uni-axial compressive test and flexural test using discrete element modelling (DEM). The proposed numerical models are namely, unreinforced cylindrical concrete under a uni-axial compressive test, unreinforced concrete beam under three-point flexural test and lastly, steel reinforced concrete beam under four-point flexural test. Those models were built up with fish programming language and python programming language (see Appendix A1 for the code created) and run into a computer program namely Particle flow code (PFC 3D). The main aim of this paper is to validate those numerical models developed and to study the cracking initiation and failure process in order to understand the fracture behaviour of concrete. The particles were distributed using an algorithm that is based on the sieve test analysis. The parameters were set up in order to validate the numerical model with the experimental result. It was observed that all the three models developed show a strong correlation with the laboratory experiment in term of stress-strain response, load-displacement response, crack pattern and macroscopic cracks development. Once, the bond between the spheres is broken, it leads to the formation of microscopic cracks which is not visible in laboratory experiment. DEM can help to identify which part is more prone to the evolution of microscopic cracks to macroscopic cracks under the discrete fracture network. In addition to, the rosette plot allows identifying the orientation that leads to a significant amount of micro cracks which is essential for designing structures. From the observation recorded in this research, it was observed that DEM is capable to reproduce concrete behaviour both quantitatively and qualitatively. It is also possible to measure the strain energy stored in the linear contact bond and parallel bond. At yield point which corresponds to the maximum amount of microcracks recorded, that strain energy is released in the form of kinetic energy, frictional slip energy, energy of dashpot, local damping. This can be extended further to compute fracture energy in the future work. Hence, it can be concluded DEM can be used to study the heterogeneous nature of concrete and as well as randomness nature of the fracturing of concrete structure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Divisions: Fac of Science & Engineering > School of Engineering
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 12:35
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2021 16:05
DOI: 10.17638/03024665
  • Gong, Guobin
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3024665