This paper develops a 3D base force element method (BFEM) based on the potential energy principle. According to the BFEM, the stiffness matrix and node displacement of any eight-node hexahedral element are derived as a uniform expression. Moreover, this expression is explicitly expressed without a Gaussian integral. A 3D random numerical model of recycled aggregate concrete (RAC) is established. The randomness of aggregate was obtained by using the Monte Carlo random method. The effects of the recycled aggregate substitution and adhered mortar percentage on the elastic modulus and compressive strength are explored under uniaxial compression loading. In addition, the failure pattern is also studied. The obtained data show that the 3D BFEM is an efficient method to explore the failure mechanism of heterogeneous materials. The 3D random RAC model is feasible for characterizing the mesostructure of RAC. Both the substitution of recycled aggregate and the percentage of adhering mortar have a non-negligible influence on the mechanical properties of RAC. As the weak points in the specimen, the old interfacial transition zone (ITZ) and adhered mortar are the major factors that lead to the weakened properties of RAC. The first crack always appears in these weak zones, and then, due to the increase and transfer of stress, approximately two-to-three continuous cracks are formed in the 45°direction of the specimen.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited