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Water-induced damage mechanisms of cyclic loaded high-performance concretes

Water-induced damage mechanisms of cyclic loaded high-performance concretes

Leitung:  Fadi Aldakheel, Peter Wriggers
Jahr:  2020
Förderung:  DFG SPP 2020, zweite Förderperiode
Laufzeit:  3 Jahre

The use of offshore wind energy is expanding and fatigue-loaded concrete structures are built that are submerged in water. This currently already applies to so-called grouted joints, where high-strength fine-grained concrete (grout) is used in the steel support structures of offshore wind turbines. Such constructions are subjected to several hundred million load cycles within their service life. An increased water content in the concrete results from the offshore exposure which is principally different to onshore constructions,. Comparatively few investigations of fatigue-tested concrete specimens immersed in water are documented in the literature. Despite the fact, that considerably scatterings occur in these results a clear tendency can be observed. Specimens that are immersed in water have a significantly lower fatigue resistance compared with specimens tested in air. Some investigations also show that fatigue-loaded concrete specimens immersed in water have a significant change in their fracture behaviour compared with specimens tested in air. This can be seen, in tests, for example, by ascending air bubbles, wash-outs of fine particles and premature crack initiation.Water-induced damage mechanisms in fatigue-loaded concrete have indeed been recognised in the past, but they were not identified and described with sufficient precision. Consequently, they cannot be quantified reliably. Based on the existing knowledge gap, the vast majority of these mechanisms have currently escaped numerical modelling and simulation.The aim of this research project is to understand, analyse and quantify macroscopically water-induced damage mechanisms of fatigue-loaded high-performance concretes in the Experimental-Virtual-Lab (EVL) with complementary very latest state-of-the-art experimental methods. At the same time, models will be created and numerically implemented on a micromechanical basis that enables proving of hypotheses that will be derived from the experimental investigations. The structural data serve for the validation of these models; the data will be determined by µCT scans, NMR measurements and mercury intrusion porosimetry.After a first clarification of the origin of mechanisms by the EVL, modelling at the macroscopic level will be attempted on the basis of the micromechanical investigations. In this way it will be verified, how the water influences the degradation behaviour of fatigue-loaded high-performance concretes and which additional active, water-induced damage mechanisms are decisively involved in the degradation process. It will be possible for the first time to carry out a prediction of the degradation behaviour of fatigue-loaded high-performance concretes immersed in water based on microstructurally orientated parameters.