The concrete cylinder: stress analysis and failure modes
The rationale for using the circular cylindrical specimen for determining the tensile strength of concrete is reviewed, and the stress fields and fracture modes associated with the familiar splitting test and a pressurized cylinder test are discussed. Special attention is paid to contradictory reports and unresolved issues in the literature as to exactly how the fracture of a concrete cylinder develops and progresses under increasing load. The effect of a macrocrack on the stress field within a cylinder is introduced as a means of understanding the progressive fracture of a cylindrical specimen. In particular, it is argued that, while the idealized stress field in an unflawed cylinder may explain how and where the first macrocrack develops in a cylindrical specimen, it is the stress field modified by the presence of the macrocrack that must be considered to understand subsequent behavior. This point of view enables us to take a unified view of a variety of different observations about the indirect tensile mode of failure. The axial tensile failure of a concrete cylinder loaded by radial pressure is also considered in the context of classical elastic stress analysis. Whereas this failure mode has been described as "paradoxical" in the literature, we demonstrate that the induced tensile stress field is indeed of sufficient magnitude to explain the axial failure under radial pressure by an elementary strength of materials argument. © 1987 Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.
Petroski, HJ; Ojdrovic, RP
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