Investigation of drying-induced non-uniform deformation, stress, and micro-crack propagation in concrete

Peng Gao, Yang Chen, Haoliang Huang, Zhiwei Qian, Erik Schlangen, Jiangxiong Wei*, Qijun Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Concrete generally deforms and cracks in a non-uniform manner under drying-induced stress. This study used the lattice fracture model to simulate the drying-induced non-uniform deformations, stresses, and micro-crack propagation in concrete. Experiments were designed to validate the lattice fracture model, wherein the drying-induced non-uniform deformations and micro-crack patterns in concrete were measured using a digital image correlation technique and a fluorescent epoxy impregnation method, respectively. It was found that the simulated non-uniform deformations and micro-crack patterns were close to the experimental observations. The interaction mechanism between drying-induced non-uniform stresses and micro-cracks was analysed based on the validated lattice fracture model. The micro-cracks were found to cause stress concentration both in coarse aggregate and the mortar that covered coarse aggregate, which could lead to high micro-cracking risk as drying continues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103786
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Digital image correlation
  • Drying shrinkage
  • Micro-cracks
  • Non-uniform deformation
  • Stress


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