Concrete fracture prediction using bilinear softening

Jeffrey Roesler, Glaucio H. Paulino, Kyoungsoo Park, Cristian Gaedicke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

188 Scopus citations


A finite element-based cohesive zone model was developed using bilinear softening to predict the monotonic load versus crack mouth opening displacement curve of geometrically similar notched concrete specimens. The softening parameters for concrete material are based on concrete fracture tests, total fracture energy (GF), initial fracture energy (Gf), and tensile strength (ft), which are obtained from a three-point bending configuration. The features of the finite element model are that bulk material elements are used for the uncracked regions of the concrete, and an intrinsic-based traction-opening constitutive relationship for the cracked region. Size effect estimations were made based on the material dependent properties (Gf and ft) and the size dependent property (GF). Experiments using the three-point bending configuration were completed to verify that the model predicts the peak load and softening behavior of concrete for multiple specimen depths. The fracture parameters, based on the size effect method or the two-parameter fracture model, were found to adequately characterize the bilinear softening model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-312
Number of pages13
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


  • Cohesive zone model
  • Concrete
  • Fracture energy
  • Size effect
  • Two-parameter fracture model


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