Influence of coarse aggregate properties on specific fracture energy of steel fiber reinforced self compacting concrete

  • Raja Rajeshwari, B. (Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Warangal) ;
  • Sivakumar, M.V.N. (Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Warangal)
  • Received : 2018.10.14
  • Accepted : 2019.12.27
  • Published : 2020.02.25


Fracture properties of concrete depend on the mix proportions of the ingredients, specimen shape and size, type of testing method used for the evaluation of fracture properties. Aggregates play a key role for changes in the fracture behaviour of concrete as they constitute about 60-75 % of the total volume of the concrete. The present study deals with the effect of size and quantity of coarse aggregate on the fracture behaviour of steel fibre reinforced self compacting concrete (SFRSCC). Lower coarse aggregate and higher fine aggregate content in SCC results in the stronger interfacial transition zone and a weaker stiffness of concrete compared to vibrated concrete. As the fracture properties depend on the aggregates quantity and size particularly in SCC, three nominal sizes (20 mm, 16 mm and 12.5 mm) and three coarse to fine aggregate proportions (50-50, 45-55, 40-60) were chosen as parameters. Wedge Split Test (WST), a stable test method was adopted to arrive the requisite properties. Specimens without and with guide notch were investigated. The results are indicative of increase in fracture energy with increase in coarse aggregate size and quantity. The splitting force was maximum for specimens with 12.5 mm size which is associated with a brittle failure in the pre-ultimate stage followed by a ductile failure due to the presence of steel fibres in the post-peak stage.


  1. Abdalla, H.M. and Karihaloo, B.L. (2003), "Determination of size-independent specific fracture energy of concrete from three point-bend and wedge splitting tests", Mag. Concrete Res., 55(2), 133-141.
  2. Akcay, B., Sengul, C. and ali Mehmet, T. (2016), "Fracture behavior and pore structure of concrete with metakaolin", Adv. Concrete Constr., 4(2), 71-88.
  3. Alyhya, W.S., Dhaheer, M.A., Al-Rubaye, M.M and Karihaloo, B.L. (2016), "Influence of mix composition and strength on the fracture properties of self-compacting concrete", Constr. Build. Mater., 110, 312-322.
  4. Amparano, F.E., Xi, Y. and Roh, Y.S. (2000), "Experimental study on the effect of aggregate content on fracture behavior of concrete", Eng. Fract. Mech., 67, 65-84.
  5. ASTM (2017) ASTM C494: Standard Specification for Chemical Admixtures for Concrete, ASTM, West Conshohocken, PA, USA.
  6. Beygi, Morteza H.A., Kazemi, M.T., Nikbin, I.M., Amiri, J.V., Rabbanifar, S. and Rahmani, E. (2014), "The influence of coarse aggregate size and volume on the fracture behavior and brittleness of self-compacting concrete", Cement Concrete Res., 66, 75-90.
  7. Bideci, A., Ozturk, H., Bideci, O.S. and Emiroglu, M. (2017), "Fracture energy and mechanical characteristics of self-compacting concretes including waste bladder tyre", Constr. Build. Mater., 149, 669-678.
  8. Bretschneider, N., Slowik, V., Villmann, B. and Mechtcherine, V. (2011), "Boundary effect on the softening curve of concrete", Eng. Fract. Mech., 78(17), 2896-2906.
  9. Bruhwiler, E. and Wittmann, F.H. (1990), "The wedge splitting test, a new method of performing stable fracture mechanics tests", Eng. Fract. Mech., 35 (1-3), 117-125.
  10. Chiranjeevi Reddy, K. and Subramaniam, K.V. (2017), "Experimental investigation of crack propagation and post-cracking behaviour in macrosynthetic fibre reinforced concrete", Mag. Concrete Res., 69(9), 467-478.
  11. Cifuentes, H. and Karihaloo, B.L. (2013), "Determination of size-independent specific fracture energy of normal- and high-strength self-compacting concrete from wedge splitting tests", Constr. Build. Mater., 48, 548-553.
  12. Cifuentes, H., Alcalde, M. and Medina, F. (2013), "Measuring the size‐independent fracture energy of concrete", Strain, 49(1), 54-59.
  13. Djelloul, O.K., Menadi, B., Wardeh, G. and Kenai, S. (2018), "Performance of self-compacting concrete made with coarse and fine recycled concrete aggregates and ground granulated blast-furnace slag", Adv. Concrete Constr., 6(2), 103-121.
  14. EFNARC (2005), The European Guidelines for Self-Compacting Concrete: Specification, Production and Use, The European Guidelines for Self Compacting Concrete.
  15. Ghasemi, M., Ghasemi, M.R. and Mousavi, S.R. (2018), "Investigating the effects of maximum aggregate size on self-compacting steel fiber reinforced concrete fracture parameters", Constr. Build. Mater., 162, 674-682.
  16. Giaccio, G. and Zerbino, R. (1998), "Failure mechanism of concrete: combined effects of coarse aggregates and strength level", Adv. Cement Bas. Mater., 7(2), 41-48.
  17. Giaccio, G., Rocco, C. and Zerbino, R. (1993), "The fracture energy (GF) of high-strength concretes", Mater. Struct., 26(7), 381-386.
  18. Gonzalez, D.C., Minguez, J., Vicente, M.A., Cambronero, F. and Aragon, G. (2018), "Study of the effect of the fibers' orientation on the post-cracking behavior of steel fiber reinforced concrete from wedge-splitting tests and computed tomography scanning", Constr. Build. Mater., 192, 110-122.
  19. Guan, J.F., Hu, X.Z., Xie, C.P., Li, Q.B. and Wu, Z.M. (2018), "Wedge-splitting tests for tensile strength and fracture toughness of concrete", Theo. Appl. Fract. Mech., 93(2), 263-275.
  20. Hu, X.Z. and Wittmann, F.H. (1992), "Fracture energy and fracture process zone", Mater. Struct., 25(6), 319-326.
  21. Ince, R. and Çetin, S.Y. (2018), "Effect of grading type of aggregate on fracture parameters of concrete", Mag. Concrete Res., 71(16), 860-868.
  22. IS: 12269-2013, Specifications for 53 Grade Ordinary Portland Cement, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
  23. IS: 3812-2013, Pulverized Fuel Ash- Specification, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
  24. IS: 383-2016, Specification for Coarse and Fine Aggregates from Natural Sources for Concrete, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
  25. IS: 516-2013, Indian Standard Methods of Tests for Strength of Concrete, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
  26. IS: 5816-2013, Splitting Tensile Strength of Concrete - Method of Test, Bureau of Indian Standards, New Delhi, India.
  27. Jin, S., Gruber, D. and Harmuth, H. (2014), "Determination of Young's modulus, fracture energy and tensile strength of refractories by inverse estimation of a wedge splitting procedure", Eng. Fract. Mech., 116, 228-236.
  28. Karamloo, M., Mazloom, M. and Payganeh, G. (2016), "Influences of water to cement ratio on brittleness and fracture parameters of self-compacting lightweight concrete", Eng. Fract. Mech., 168, 227-241.
  29. Khalilpour, S., BaniAsad, E. and Dehestani, M. (2019), "A review on concrete fracture energy and effective parameters", Cement Concrete Res., 120, 294-321.
  30. Kim, J.K. and Kim, Y.Y. (1999), "Fatigue crack growth of high-strength concrete in wedge-splitting test", Cement Concrete Res., 29(5), 705-712.
  31. Korte, S., Boel, V., De Corte, W. and De Schutter, G., (2014), "Static and fatigue fracture mechanics properties of self-compacting concrete using three-point bending tests and wedge-splitting tests", Constr. Build. Mater., 57, 1-8.
  32. Kumar, C.N.S., Krishna, P.V.V.S.S.R. and Kumar, D.R. (2017), "Effect of fiber and aggregate size on mode-I fracture parameters of high strength concrete", Adv. Concrete Constr., 5(6), 613-624.
  33. Linsbauer, H.N. and Tschegg, E.K. (1986), "Fracture energy determination of concrete with cube-shaped specimens", Zement Beton, 31, 38-40.
  34. Lofgren, I., Stang, H. and Olesen, J. F. (2008), "The WST method, a fracture mechanics test method for FRC", Mater. Struct., 41(1), 197-211.
  35. Nikbin, I.M., Beygi, M.H.A., Kazemi, M.T., Amiri, J.V., Rahmani, E., Rabbanifar, S. and Eslami, M. (2014), "Effect of coarse aggregate volume on fracture behavior of self-compacting concrete", Constr. Build. Mater., 52, 137-145.
  36. NT Build 511 (2005), North Test BUILD 511 - Wedge Splitting Test Method (WST): Fracture Testing of Fiber-Reinforced Concrete (Mode I), Nord, METHOD, Oslo, Norway, Nordic Innovation Centre, 04032, 1-6.
  37. Okamura, H. and Ouchi, M. (2003), "Self-compacting concrete", J. Adv. Concrete Technol., 1(1), 5-15.
  38. Ostergaard, L. and Olesen, J.F. (2004), "Comparative study of fracture mechanical test methods for concrete", FraMCos-5, Vail, USA, 455-462.
  39. Rama, J.S., Chauhan, D.R., Sivakumar, M.V.N., Vasan, A. and Murthy, A.R. (2017), "Fracture properties of concrete using damaged plasticity model-A parametric study", Struct. Eng. Mech., 64(1), 59-69.
  40. Recommendations, R.D. (1985), "50-FMC committee fracture mechanics of concrete", Mater. Struct., 18(106), 285-290.
  41. Shah, S.P. (1997), "An overview of the fracture mechanics of concrete", Cement Concrete Agg., 19(2), 79-86.
  42. Shaowei, H., Aiqinga, X., Xin, H. and Yangyang, Y. (2016), "Study on fracture characteristics of reinforced concrete wedge splitting tests", Comput. Concrete, 18(3), 337-354.
  43. Siregar, A.P.N., Rafiq, M.I. and Mulheron, M. (2017), "Experimental investigation of the effects of aggregate size distribution on the fracture behaviour of high strength concrete", Constr. Build. Mater., 150, 252-259.
  44. Sitek, M., Adamczewski, G., Szyszko, M., Migacz, B., Tutka, P. and Natorff, M. (2014), "Numerical simulations of a wedge splitting test for high-strength concrete", Procedia Eng., 91, 99-104.
  45. Skarzynski, L. and Tejchman, J. (2016), "Experimental investigations of fracture process in concrete by means of X-ray micro-computed tomography", Strain-An Int. J. Exper. Mech., 52(1), 26-45.
  46. Skocek, J. and Stang, H. (2008), "Inverse analysis of the wedge-splitting test", Eng. Fract. Mech., 75(10), 3173-3188.
  47. Tasdemir, M.A. and Karihaloo, B.L. (2001), "Effect of aggregate volume fraction on the fracture parameters of concrete: a meso-mechanical approach", Mag. Concrete Res., 53(6), 405-415.
  48. Vydra, V., Trtik, K. and Vodak, F. (2012), "Size independent fracture energy of concrete", Constr. Build. Mater., 26(1), 357-361.
  49. Xiao, J., Schneider, H., Donnecke, C. and Konig, G. (2004), "Wedge splitting test on fracture behaviour of ultra high strength concrete", Constr. Build. Mater., 18(6), 359-365.
  50. Zarrin, O. and Khoshnoud, H.R. (2016), "Experimental investigation on self-compacting concrete reinforced with steel fibers", Struct. Eng. Mech., 59(1), 133-151.
  51. Zhang, J., Leung, C.K.Y. and Xu, S. (2010), "Evaluation of fracture parameters of concrete from bending test using inverse analysis approach", Mater. Struct., 43(6), 857-874.
  52. Zhang, P., Gao, J.X., Dai, X.B., Zhang, T.H. and Wang, J. (2016), "Fracture behavior of fly ash concrete containing silica fume", Struct. Eng. Mech., 59(2), 261-275.