Eric N. Landis, Tong Zhang, Edwin N. Nagy, George Nagy, and W. Randolph Franklin. Cracking, damage and fracture in four dimensions. Materials and Structures, online date: 13 July 2006.
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Abstract Concrete and cracking are nearly synonymous despite our best efforts and intentions. Relationships between cracking and the stress states that lead to cracking can be instructive. In an effort to better understand these relationships, X-ray microtomography was used to make high-resolution three-dimensional digital images of small concrete specimens under load. Using 3D image analysis, quantitative measurements of internal crack growth were made that include effects of crack tortuosity, branching and microcracking. Successive images at different levels of cracking and damage provide us with a detailed picture of internal crack progression. When coupled with load-deformation response, bulk material properties such as fracture toughness or damage variables can be quantitatively linked with cracking. Measurements to date have shown distinct fracture regimes linked to crack formation and propagation. In addition, the crack measurements offer a way to provide a physical basis for a scalar damage variable.

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