Load-carrying and energy-dissipation capacities of ultra-high-performance concrete under dynamic loading
Buck, Jonathan J.
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The load-carrying and energy-dissipation capacities of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) under dynamic loading are evaluated in relation to microstructure composition at strain rates on the order of 10⁵ s⁻¹ and pressures of up to 10 GPa. Analysis focuses on deformation and failure mechanisms at the mesostructural level. A cohesive finite element framework that allows explicit account of constituent phases, interfaces, and fracture is used. The model resolves essential deformation and failure mechanisms in addition to providing a phenomenological account of the effects of the phase transformation. Four modes of energy dissipation are tracked, including pressure-sensitive inelastic deformation, damage through the development of distributed cracks, interfacial friction, and energy released through phase transformation of the quartz silica constituent. Simulations are carried out over a range of volume fractions of constituent phases to quantify trends that can be used to design materials for more damage-resistant structures. Calculations show that the volume fractions of the constituents have more influence on the energy-dissipation capacity than on the load-carrying capacity, that inelastic deformation is the source of over 70% of the energy dissipation, and that the presence of porosity changes the role of fibers in the dissipation process. The results also show that the phase transformation has a significant effect on the load-carrying and energy-dissipation capacities of UHPC for the conditions studied. Although transformation accounts for less than 2% of the total energy dissipation, the phase transformation leads to a twofold increase in the crack density and yields nearly an 18% increase to the overall energy dissipation. Microstructure-behavior relations are established to facilitate materials design and tailoring for target-specific applications.