SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Jonathan Buck
TIME: Monday, March 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: MRDC Building, 4211
TITLE: Load-Carrying and Energy-Dissipation Capacities of Ultra-High-Performance Concrete Under Dynamic Loading
COMMITTEE: Dr. Min Zhou, Chair (ME)
Dr. David McDowell (ME)
Dr. Beverly DiPaolo (ERDC)


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 the load-carrying capacity, inelastic deformation is the source of over 70% of the energy dissipation, and 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 two-fold 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.