Characterization of mixed mode crack opening in concrete

Jonas Sejersbøl Jacobsen, Peter Noe Poulsen, John Forbes Olesen

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In real concrete structures cracks often open in mixed mode after their initiation. To capture the direct material behavior of a mixed mode crack opening a stiff biaxial testing machine, capable of imposing both normal and shear loads on a given crack area, has been applied. The opening and sliding components of the mixed mode displacement are measured using a custom made orthogonal gauge, and the measurements are used directly as the closed loop control signals. A double notch, concrete specimen is used for the crack investigation. The tests are divided into two steps, a pure Mode I opening step, where a macro crack is initiated in the specimen followed by the mixed mode opening step. The high stiffness of the set-up together with the closed control loop ensures a stable crack initiation followed by a controllable mixed mode opening. The deep notches result in a plane crack, only influenced by material aspects such as the aggregate size and concrete strength. Despite the occurrence of a few, local, secondary cracks during the mixed mode crack opening, the results can be treated as the mixed mode material point behavior of a crack in concrete. Results are reported for a range of mixed mode angles and for varying initial Mode I openings of the crack.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMaterials and Structures
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)107-122
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Biaxial loading
  • Constitutive behavior
  • Mixed mode fracture
  • Concrete


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