A multiscale micromechanical approach to model the deteriorating impact of alkali-silica reaction on concrete

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The alkali-silica reaction (ASR) in concrete is one of the most harmful deterioration processes, which leads to expansion and cracking of the material. To understand the evolution of ASR in concrete and its deteriorating impact on the material, a multiscale material model, from aggregate to concrete level, is proposed. The concrete, which at macro scale is considered a homogeneous material, is micromechanically modelled by a matrix-cracks system, in which each phase is uniform and behaves elastically. The damage criterion, associated to the cracks, is formulated on the basis of linear fracture mechanics theory. The model, which is analytically solved, is based on a limited numbers of input parameters, to be determined via micro and macro experimental investigations. The model is able to predict the non-linear behaviour of concrete subject to uniaxial loading in good agreement with code formulations, which are usually input for numerical analyses of structures. For the case of ASR-affected material, the model overestimates the degradation rate of mechanical properties as a function of the expansion. On the contrary, the relationship between stiffness and strength deterioration is correctly approximated. Various model modifications are explored suggesting that the assumption of elastic behaviour of each phase should be reconsidered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-152
Number of pages14
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Issue numberJuly
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2016


  • Alkali-silica reaction (ASR)
  • Concrete
  • Chemo-mechanical processes
  • Mechanical properties
  • Multiscale material modelling
  • Microporomechanics
  • Two-scale double porosity system


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