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Published April 2016 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Effect of Brittle Fracture in a Metaconcrete Slab under Shock Loading


A new type of concrete, named metaconcrete, has been developed for the attenuation of shock waves induced by dynamic excitation. Inspired by the metamaterials used for the manipulation of electromagnetic and acoustic waves, this new metamaterial for the mitigation of shock waves utilizes the activation of resonance within engineered inclusions. Metaconcrete replaces the standard stone and gravel aggregates of regular concrete with spherical inclusions consisting of a heavy core coated in a compliant outer layer. Finite-element analyses of metaconcrete slabs for the case of purely elastic constituents reveal trapping of the supplied energy within the inclusions and a reduction in mortar stress, indicating the presence of resonance behavior within the aggregates. Mortar is, however, a brittle material and the fracture properties under dynamic loading should also be considered. Thus, the models used in the elastic analyses are extended by incorporating brittle fracture through the use of an eigenerosion scheme, which erodes elements satisfying an energy-based fracture criterion. The effect of different fracture parameters on the performance of the slab is investigated through parametric studies, looking at the change in slab behavior caused by various aggregate geometry and material configurations. These studies indicate that mechanical energy is captured by the aggregates, reducing the transmission of energy through the slab, the extension of the zone damaged by fracture, and the longitudinal stress within the mortar matrix. The understanding gained from these analyses incorporating fracture characteristics will enable more informed design of metaconcrete aggregates for dynamic loading applications, such as blast shielding and impact protection.

Additional Information

© 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers. Submitted: 26 April 2015; Accepted: 25 September 2015; Published: 12 January 2016. This research was supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grant # FA9550-12-1-0091 through the University Center of Excellence in High-Rate Deformation Physics of Heterogeneous Materials and is gratefully acknowledged.

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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023