Micromechanical Study of the Interface Properties in Concrete Repair Systems

Mladena Lukovi?, Branko Šavija, Hua Dong, Erik Schlangen, Guang Ye

Journal of Advanced Concrete Technology, 12, 320-339, 2014

Micromechanical interface properties in a concrete repair system determine the performance and reliability of a repaired structure. In order to characterize these properties, nanoindentation technique was applied. Three different repair material mixtures, based on Portland cement or partial replacement of Portland cement with blast furnace slag, were tested. Hardness and elastic modulus values obtained from the nanoindentation were used directly as input for simulated direct tension test. This way, the fracture behaviour of original microstructure, “mimicked” by Delft lattice model, is analysed. Backscattered electron (BSE) image analysis is utilized to estimate the average size of the interface zone which is distinguished as locally more porous area. This, together with simulation results, is further used for calculation of the interface stiffness. Simulation results enable prediction and better insight into fracture propagation and micromechanical response of the tested zone. They also indicate the ratio between interface and bulk material fracture properties when different types of repair materials are used. Load displacement diagrams of interface, old and new material can serve as an input for numerical modelling and understanding of fracture behaviour of the repair systems at the higher scale. Potentially, this approach may develop as a tool for verifying and engineering interface properties such that desired performance of the repaired structure is achieved.

The attempt of the authors to quantify the micro-mechanical properties of the interface zone of the repair system is considered one of the pioneer works in this field.  Both experimental tests and numerical modelling were conducted, enabling the comparison of basic but complex mechanical/fracture properties of the interface and bulk material as well as the comparison of systems with and without BFS.  The results of the study are useful as both a reference and a basis for being extended to further levels of comprehensive studies.
(Prof. Somnuk Tangtermsirikul)