Research Articles | Challenge Journal of Structural Mechanics

Universal size effect of concrete specimens and effect of notch depth

Sıddık Şener, Kadir Can Şener



The universal size effect law of concrete is a law that describes the dependence of nominal strength of specimens or structure on both its size and the crack (or notch) length, over the entire of interest, and exhibits the correct small and large size asymptotic properties as required. The main difficulty has been the transition of crack length from 0, in which case the size effect mode is Type 1, to deep cracks (or notches), in which case the size effect mode is Type 2 and fundamentally different from Type 1. The current study is based on recently obtained comprehensive fracture test data from three-point bending beams tested under identical conditions. In this test, the experimental program consisted of 80 three-point bend beams with 4 different depths 40, 93, 215 and 500mm, corresponding to a size range of 1:12.5. Five different relative notch lengths, a/D = 0, 0.02, 0.075, 0.15, 0.30 were cut into the beams. A total of 20 different geometries (family of beams) were tested. The present paper will use these data to analyze the effects of size, crack length. This paper presents a studying to improve the existing universal size effect law, named by Bazant, using the experimentally obtained beam strengths for various different specimen sizes and all notch depths. The updated universal size effect law is shown to fit the comprehensive data quite well.


concrete fracture; scaling of strength; fracture testing; notch-depth effect; flexural testing

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Peer-review under responsibility of the organizing committee of ACE2016.


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