The structure and the development degree of a cracking pattern has a key impact on the durability of cement composites. This literature review focuses on the four most important aspects related to the evaluation of the surface cracking patterns, i.e., the process of formation, propagation and evolution of cracks into a branched system of cracks from the point of view of the fracture mechanics; the detection techniques of the cracking patterns on the surface of cement composites, where the tools of computer image analysis are the most used; parameters which can quantify the development degree and morphology of the cracks system; and also the influence of a cracking pattern on the functional features of cement composites. The studies described so far indicate the necessity of continuous development of this research area, because the knowledge of key relationships between the cracking patterns and functional properties of a cement composite is necessary to estimate the degree of material degradation. Researchers agree that the works carried out in the field of evaluation of the cracking patterns, to a large extent, contributes to the development of non-destructive testing methods in the field of cement composites technology.
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