Uniaxial compression failure of hardened cement paste

The aim of a new work is to investigate the mechanical performance of hardened cement paste (HCP) under compression at the micrometre length scale.

Hand passes with a spatula mortar on a brick wall.
The researchers used both experimental and numerical approaches in their investigation of hardened cement paste (HCP). Source: Hoda Bogdan – stock.adobe.com. -

In order to achieve this, both experimental and numerical approaches were applied. In the experimental part, micrometre sized HCP specimens were fabricated and subjected to uniaxial compression by a flat end tip using nanoindenter. During the test, the load-displacement curves can be obtained. In the modelling part, virtual micrometre sized specimens were created from digital material structures obtained by X-ray computed tomography.

Good agreement between experimental and numerical results

A computational compression test was then performed on these virtual specimens by a discrete lattice fracture model using the local mechanical properties calibrated in the authors’ previous work. A good agreement is found between the experimental and numerical results.

The approach proposed in this work forms a general framework for testing and modelling the compression behaviour of cementitious material at the micrometre length scale.

The study is published in: Cement and Concrete Research Volume 126, December 2019, 105925.

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