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Materials 2018, 11(8), 1362; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081362

Numerical Modelling of the Effect of Filler/Matrix Interfacial Strength on the Fracture of Cementitious Composites

1
Guangzhou University—Tamkang University Joint Research Center for Engineering Structure Disaster Prevention and Control, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
2
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, 2628CN Delft, The Netherlands
3
Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 4 August 2018 / Published: 6 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-scale Modeling of Materials and Structures)
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Abstract

The interface between filler and hydration products can have a significant effect on the mechanical properties of the cement paste system. With different adhesion properties between filler and hydration products, the effect of microstructural features (size, shape, surface roughness), particle distribution and area fraction of filler on the fracture behavior of a blended cement paste system is supposed to be different, as well. In order to understand the effect of the microstructural features, particle distribution and area fraction of filler on the fracture behavior of a blended cement paste system with either strong or weak filler-matrix interface, microscale simulations with a lattice model are carried out. The results show that the strength of the filler-matrix interface plays a more important role than the microstructural features, particle distribution and area fraction of filler in the crack propagation and the strength of blended cement paste. The knowledge acquired here provides a clue, or direction, for improving the performance of existing fillers. To improve the performance of fillers in cement paste in terms of strength, priority should be given to improving the bond strength between filler particles and matrix, not to modifying the microstructural features (i.e., shape and surface roughness) of the filler. View Full-Text
Keywords: filler; interface; mechanical properties; blended cement paste; lattice fracture model filler; interface; mechanical properties; blended cement paste; lattice fracture model
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Ouyang, X.; Pan, Z.; Qian, Z.; Ma, Y.; Ye, G.; van Breugel, K. Numerical Modelling of the Effect of Filler/Matrix Interfacial Strength on the Fracture of Cementitious Composites. Materials 2018, 11, 1362.

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