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creep of concrete
F. Benboudjema
Laboratoire de Mécanique et Technologie – École Normale Supérieure de Cachan, Cachan, France
F. Meftah
Laboratoire de Mécanique – Université de Marne La Vallée, Champs sur Marne, France
J.M. Torrenti
Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire, FontenayAuxRoses CEDEX, France
ABSTRACT: In this paper, a numerical modeling of the delayed behavior of concrete is presented. The model
takes into account drying, shrinkage, creep and cracking phenomena. The coupling between all these phe
nomena is performed by using the theory of nonsaturated porous media and the effective stress concept. The
analysis of the longterm behavior is performed on a concrete specimen subjected to drying. Numerical simu
lations are compared to experimental data from the literature, in order to check the abilities of the model to
describe the hydro mechanical behavior of concrete.
1 INTRODUCTION
Nonhomogeneous drying induces the occurrence
of cracking which interacts with concomitant creep
and shrinkage mechanisms. This means that struc
tural effect affects, simultaneously, measurements of
shrinkage and creep deformations in any experiment
(Granger 1996). Unfortunately, no experimental
procedure allows for separating, easily, intrinsic be
haviors from structural effects when shrinkage and
creep are concerned. Identifying constitutive laws
from experimental measurements cannot be per
formed in a straightforward way. It needs the use of
a robust cracking model in order to quantify accu
rately, by means of computations, the structural part.
The intrinsic behavior of the drying concrete can
therefore be deduced in a sort of inverse analysis on
focusing on the conventional components: drying
shrinkage and basic creep.
A hydromechanical model is developed, includ
ing the description of drying, shrinkage, creep and
cracking phenomena for concrete as a nonsaturated
porous medium. The modeling of drying shrinkage
is based on a unified approach of creep and shrink
age. Basic creep model is based on chemophysical
mechanisms, which occur at different scales of the
cement paste. Indeed, basic creep is explicitly re
lated to the microdiffusion of the adsorbed water
between interhydrates and intrahydrates and the cap
illary pores, and the sliding of the CSH gel at the
nanoporosity level. Drying shrinkage is, therefore,
assumed to result from the elastic and creep re
sponse of the solid skeleton, submitted to both capil
lary and disjoining pressures. Furthermore, the
cracking behavior of concrete is described by an
orthotropic elastoplastic damage model. The cou
pling between all these phenomena is performed by
using effective stresses which account for both ex
ternal applied stresses and pore pressures.
This model has been incorporated in a finite ele
ment code. The analysis of the longterm behavior is
performed on concrete specimens subjected to dry
ing.
2 HYDROMECHANICAL MODELING
In this section, we present the modeling framework
for concrete in partially saturated conditions. The
formulation of the model is based on the mechanics
of porous media, using the effective stress concept.
The vector of the total strain ε is split into 3 com
ponents :
e p bc
= + + ε ε ε ε (1)
where ε
e
= elastic strain; ε
p
= plastic strain; and ε
bc
=
basic creep strain.
The drying shrinkage strain does not appear in the
decomposition (equation 1). The modeling of drying
shrinkage is based on an unified approach of creep
and shrinkage. Indeed, we suggest that that drying
shrinkage is driven by pore pressures. Therefore, this
strain results implicitly from the elastic and creep
straining of the material due to capillarity and dis
joining pressure.
The modeling of each studied phenomena (dry
ing, cracking, creep and shrinkage) is successively
presented.
2.1 Drying model
The drying of concrete is modeled here by a diffu
siontype equation, i.e. second Fick’s law:
( ) (
C D C = ∇ ∇
)
C (2)
in which C = water content; and D = the diffusivity,
which varies in a strongly nonlinear manner as a
function of the water content. The dot represents the
derivative with respect to time.
The diffusivity is calculated with the relationship
derived by Xi & al. (1994):
( )
( )
( )
1
10
0
1 1 2
b h
D h D a
−
−
= + −
¸
(
(
¸
(3)
where D
0
, a and b are material parameters, depend
ing upon the concrete formulation.
Eq. (2) and (3) take into account the migration of
both of liquid and vapor phases in concrete.
The relative humidity is relied on the water con
tent by the desorption isotherm curve. The BSB
model (Xi & al. 1994), called also the three
parameter BET model, is used here to calculate the
desorption isotherm curve:
( ) ( ) 1 1 1
m
AkV h
C
kh A kh
=
− + − (
¸ ¸
(4)
where A, k and V
m
are material parameters of the
BSB model.
The drying boundary conditions are of a convec
tive type. The exchanged flux of moisture per unit
surface between the exposed faces of concrete and
the ambient air J is as follow (Torrenti & al. 1999):
( ) ( ) (
0
2
cf eq s s eq
C C C C C β
(
= − − −
¸ ¸
J n
)
(5)
where β
cf
= a constant parameter equal to 5.10
10
m
4
/s/l; C
0
= initial water content; C
s
= the water con
tent on the drying face; C
eq
= the water content cor
responding to the environmental relative humidity;
and is the normal vector to the drying surface
(oriented toward the exterior).
n
It is considered here that dryinginduced cracking
does not influence significantly the drying process.
As a matter of fact, experimental results show that a
nonloaded specimen and a loaded specimen in
compression dry in the same manner (Lassabatère &
al. 1997), even if the compressive loading prevents
from pronounced microcracking. Moreover, drying
induced cracking is not important. Their opening is
less than 50 µm (Sicard & al. 1992, Bisschop & van
Mier 2002). Therefore, it can be expected that dry
inginduced cracking has little influence on the dry
ing process.
2.2 Cracking model
The behavior of cracked concrete is modeled by a
damage model coupled with softening plasticity, de
veloped by the authors (Benboudjema & al. 2001).
The plastic strain describes irreversible deformation
observed experimentally at unloading. The accom
panying stiffness degradation due to microcracks is
given by the second order damage tensor D.
The cracked material is considered to be a mate
rial, the effective surface (resistant) of which is re
duced due to the cracking process (see figure 1). The
vector of the nominal stress σ is related to the vec
tor of the effective stress , which acts on the un
cracked material only, by the following relationship:
σ
~
( ) = − ⋅ σ I D σ (6)
where I is the second order unit tensor.
Effectives stresses are related to the elastic strain
by :
e
= ⋅
0
σ E ε (7)
where E
0
is the second order elastic stiffness tensor.
2.2.1 Damage evolution
In order to describe properly difference of damage
process in compression and in tension, the damage
variable is separated into a compressive and a tensile
one. The damage process is assumed here to be iso
tropic in compression and orthotropic in tension,
where orthotropy is induced by cracking (see Fig. 1).
Hence, a scalar damage variable D
c
is used in com
pression, while a tensorial one D
t
is considered in
tension. The damage tensor D is then given by
(Benboudjema 2002):
( )( ) 1
c
D I D I D − = − −
t
(8)
Undamaged
Material
Damaged
Material
Cracks
σ σ
Un
damaged
Part
Damaged
Part
σ
~
( ) D S S − ⋅ = 1
~
S S =
~
Apparent
stresses
Effective
stresses
Apparent area Effective area Damage variable
Figure 1. Definition of the damage variable.
Damage evolution is related to the cumulative
plastic strains. As a matter of fact, experimental evi
dences show that this choice is relevant for concrete
(Ju 1989). The evolution function is of exponential
type (Lee & Fenves 1998, Nechnech 2000):
( ) ( )
( ) (
1 exp
1 exp
c c c c
ii ii ii
t t t t
D c
D c
κ κ
κ κ
− = − ¦
¦
´
− = −
¦
¹
)
(9)
where κ
c
and κ
t
ii
are the compressive and i
th
princi
pal tensile cumulative plastic strains, respectively,
given by Equation 15.
2.2.2 Plastic evolution
The coupling between damage and plasticity is
based on the effective stress concept and on the hy
pothesis that the undamaged material behavior is
elastoplastic (Ju 1989). In order to reproduce a suit
able behavior both in compression and in tension, a
DruckerPrager criterion in compression and three
Rankine criteria in tension are used (see Figure 2).
The use of 3 independent criteria allows for retriev
ing an orthotropic behavior.
This choice has been previously made by many au
thors (Feenstra 1993, Heinfling 1998, Nechnech
2000) in the isotropic case.
1,5
1
0,5
0
1,5 1 0,5 0
2
c
f
σ
1
c
f
σ
Kupfer et Gerstle (1973)
Simulation
Van Mier (1984)
Torrenti (1987)
1,5
1
0,5
0
1,5 1 0,5 0
2
c
f
σ
1
c
f
σ
Kupfer et Gerstle (1973)
Simulation
Van Mier (1984)
Torrenti (1987)
Kupfer et Gerstle (1973)
Simulation
Van Mier (1984)
Torrenti (1987)
Figure 2. DruckerPrager and Rankine criteria in the principal
stress space (2D).
The DruckerPrager criterion is written as:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
2 1
, 3
c c f c
F J I κ α β = + − σ σ σ
c
τ κ
)
i ii
t
(10)
where J
2
( ) = the second invariant of the effective
stress σ; I
σ
1
( ) = the first invariant; τ σ
c
= the nominal
strength in compression; α
f
and β are two material
parameters.
The Rankine criteria are written as:
( ) (
,
i
t t ii t
F σ τ κ = − κ σ (11)
where τ
t
= the nominal strength in tension.
The nominal strengths are defined by:
( ) ( ) (
0
1 exp exp 2
ii ii ii
x x x x x x x x
a b f a κ τ κ = + −
( − −
¸ ¸
)
b (12)
where a
x
and b
x
are material parameters identified
from an uniaxial test. The subscript x refers to ten
sion (t) or compression (c).
The nonassociative plastic flow theory is
adopted in compression:
( ) ( ) ( )
2 1
3
c g
G J I
c c
α β τ κ = + − σ σ (13)
where α
g
is a material parameter which controls di
latancy of concrete.
The plastic strain rate is then obtained by Koiter as
sumption:
i
p ii t
t c
i
F
λ λ
c
G ∂ ∂
= +
∂ ∂
∑
ε
σ σ
(14)
where λ
x
i
is the plastic multiplier associated to the
plastic potential functions in compression and in ten
sion.
The cumulated plastic strains, used as hardening /
softening parameters, are defined by (in the system
of the principal effective stresses for the tensile
component):
( )
1/ 2
2
1 2
c g
ii ii
t t
c
κ α λ
κ λ
¦
= +
¦
´
¦ =
¹
(15)
Strain softening induces inherent mesh dependency
and produces failure without energy dissipation
(Bažant 1976). In order to avoid these features, the
fracture energy approach, proposed by Hillerborg &
al. (1976) is used. The fracture energy density g
fx
is
related to fracture energy G
fx
by a characteristic
length l
e
:
fx
fx
e
G
g
l
= (16)
The characteristic length l
e
is related to the size of
the finite element (Feenstra 1993):
e e
l k = A (17)
where k
e
is a coefficient which depends upon the
type of finite element.
2.3 Basic creep model
Basic creep of concrete is still a controversial issue.
Many explanations for the mechanisms have been
proposed in the literature to retrieve the collected
experimental evidences (Jennings & Xi 1992). How
ever, no theory has been universally accepted yet, al
though it is well admitted that water plays a funda
mental role.
In this paper, a multiaxial model developed by the
authors is used (Benboudjema & al. 2001), where
the role of water is integrated in a original manner.
In this model, the basic creep is considered to be the
result of two major mechanisms. They are driven by
the spherical and deviatoric components of the stress
tensor, respectively. Several experimental findings
prove that the splitting of the creep strain process to
a spherical part and a deviatoric part is relevant
(Benboudjema & al. 2001). Indeed, they showed that
the spherical creep strains and the deviatoric creep
strains are proportional to the spherical part and the
deviatoric part of the stress tensor, respectively.
Each part of the creep strain process is therefore
associated with a different chemophysical mecha
nism. The decomposition of the basic creep strains
vector ε
bc
reads therefore:
bc dev sph
bc bc
ε 1 ε = + ε (18)
where ε
bc
sph
and ε
bc
dev
are the spherical and the de
viatoric creep strains respectively. The vector 1
reads :
  1 1 1 0 0 0
T
1 = (19)
It should be emphasized that such a decomposi
tion of the creep strain (in a spherical and a devia
toric part) has been previously proposed (Bažant
1988).
2.3.1 Spherical creep
The spherical part is assumed to occur in the mi
croporosity (0,01 – 50 µm range). It is associated to
the migration of adsorbed water, located at the inter
face between hydrates and the hydrates intrinsic po
rosity, towards the capillary pores (Fig. 3).
Water migration
at different scales
Hydrates
Capillary
pore
Intrahydrate
porosity
Anhydrate
cement
c
d
Interhydrate
porosity
sph
σ
sph
σ
sph
σ
sph
σ
Figure 3. Proposed mechanism for the spherical creep. (Ben
boudjema & al. 2001)
This mechanism has been previously suggested
by many authors (see Benboudjema 2002). As a
matter of fact, several experimental findings con
firms this theory.
By assuming that the behavior of the hydrated
and the unhydrated cement particles are elastic and
that the migration of water follows the Poiseuille
equation, the adopted mechanisms lead to the fol
lowing system of equations :
( )
1
2
1
sph sph sph sph sph
r r i sph
r
sph sph sph sph sph sph
i r r i sph
i
sph sph sph
r r
h k
k k k
h k
ε σ ε ε
η
ε ε
η
σ ε
+
¦
( = − −
¸ ¸ ¦
¦
¦
i
ε
(
= − +
´
¸ ¸
¦
¦
( − −
¦
¸ ¸
¹
(20)
with :
sph
i
sph
r
sph
ε ε ε + = with
2
x x
x
+
=
+
(21)
where ε
r
sph
and ε
i
sph
are the reversible and the irre
versible spherical creep strain respectively ; η
r
sph
and
η
i
sph
are the apparent viscosities of the water at two
different scales of the material (macroscopic and mi
croscopic level, respectively). These apparent quan
tities depend upon the water viscosity and the con
nected porosity geometry. Further, k
r
sph
and k
i
sph
are
the apparent stiffness associated to the precedent
viscosities and related to the stiffness of the porous
material and the skeleton. σ
sph
is the spherical ef
fective stress.
2.3.2 Deviatoric creep
The deviatoric part is supposed to be caused by
the sliding of the CSH layers (see Benboudjema
2002). This phenomenon occurs in the nanoporosity
(dimension of about 1 nm).
The deviatoric creep mechanism is presented in
Figure 4.
As the case of the spherical basic creep, the de
viatoric creep strain vector ε
bc
dev
is split in a reversi
ble part ε
r
dev
and an irreversible part ε
i
dev
:
dev dev dev
bc r i
= + ε ε ε (22)
The reversible part is associated to the interfoliar ad
sorbed water (great adsorption energy). The irre
versible part is due to the rupture of the hydrogen
bridge in the interlamellar adsorbed water.
The physical mechanism of the deviatoric creep
leads to constitutive relations:
( )
dev dev dev dev dev
r r r r ii
dev dev dev
i i
k rev h
h
η
η
¦ + =
¦
´
=
¦
¹
ε ε
ε σ
σ
(23)
Hydroxyl
water
Water
molecule
Hydrogen
water
I
n
t
e
r
f
o
l
i
a
r
a
d
s
o
r
b
e
d
w
a
t
e
r
I
n
t
e
r
l
a
m
e
l
l
a
r
a
d
s
o
r
b
e
d
w
a
t
e
r
dev
ii
σ
dev
ii
σ
CSH sheets
sliding at the nano
porosity scale
Figure 4. Mechanisms of the deviatoric creep in the CSH
nanopores. (Benboudjema & al. 2001)
The Eq. (20) and (23) can be solved analytically
for constant stresses and a constant relative humid
ity. The basic creep strains vector ε
bc
can be ex
pressed as :
( ) ( )
bc bc
t h t = ε J σ ⋅ (24)
where J
bc
is the basic creep compliance tensor (sec
ond order), depending upon the materials parameters
(Benboudjema 2002).
2.4 Drying shrinkage model
Concrete is a material which is strongly hydro
philic and has an important specific surface. Indeed,
it exhibits a behavior very sensitive to the hygromet
ric conditions.
The modeling of drying shrinkage is based on the
mechanisms of disjoining pressure and capillary
pressure, which seem to be predominant in the range
50 – 100 % of relative humidity (Soroka 1979). We
suppose that drying shrinkage results from the elas
tic and the delayed response of the solid skeleton
under capillary pressure and disjoining pressure.
This idea, that creep and shrinkage are similar, has
been previously reported by many authors (see Ben
boudjema 2002). But, to the author’s knowledge,
only Bažant & Wu (1974) traduced this idea in the
form of constitutive relations.
The capillary pore pressure p
c
is derived from the
Kelvin law, which states that the gaseous phase (air
and water vapor, pressure p
g
) and the liquid phase
(water, pressure p
l
) are in equilibrium. This leads to
the equation:
( ) ln
l
l g c
v
ρ RT
p p p h
M
− = = (25)
where R is the gas constant,;T is the temperature; ρ
l
is the water density; and M
v
is the water molar mass.
The expression of the disjoining pressure varia
tion ∆p
d
is also obtained from equilibrium considera
tion. Indeed, the Gibbs free energy of the water in
the capillary pore and the adsorbed water located in
the hindered adsorption zone are equal. This leads to
the equation (Bažant & Wittmann 1982):
( ) ln
a
d
a
RT
p h
M
ρ
∆ = (26)
where ρ
a
is the adsorbed water density; and M
a
is the
adsorbed water molar mass.
It should be emphasized that the disjoining pres
sure is maximum at a relative humidity equal to 100
%.
The pressure applied to the solid skeleton results
from an average of the capillary pressure and the
disjoining pressure. These effects are taken into ac
count by the saturation degree S
l
and a homogenized
coefficient α
rd
:
sol rd l c
p S p α = (27)
The coefficient α
rd
can be identified from a dry
ing shrinkage test.
The evolution of free drying shrinkage is derived
directly from the framework of the mechanics of un
saturated porous media, using the concept of effec
tive stress.
Indeed, effective stresses σ are related to the ap
parent stresses σ and the pore pressure p
sol
, by the
following relationship (see Fig. 5) :
( ) 1
sol
p σ σ 1 φ φ = − − (28)
ii
σ
sol
p
ii
σ
φ 1 φ −
ii
σ
sol
p
ii
σ
φ 1 φ −
Figure 5. Effective stress concept (without cracking).
In the case of free drying shrinkage conditions
(no restrain), apparent stresses are equal to zero and
cracking does not occur. Hence, the behavior of the
solid skeleton reads:
( )
sol bc
σ E ε ε = ⋅ − (29)
( ¦
Where E
sol
is the elastic stiffness of the solid
skeleton.
In the case of non constant effective stresses, ba
sic creep strains may be evaluated by the superposi
tion principle of Boltzmann:
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) (
0
t
bc bc
sol
t t d h ε J σ
τ
τ
τ τ
=
=
= −
∫
)
τ
1
l
l
l
l
l
(30)
The use of Eq. 28, Eq. 29 and Eq. 30 allows for
rewriting the expression of the strain, which corre
sponds in this case to the free drying shrinkage strain
:
ds
ε
( ) ( ) ( )
1
0
0
t
ds bc
sol sol
p t d hp ε ε E J φ τ
−
= = + −
∫
(31)
with :
( )
0
1
sol
Ε E φ = − and ( ) 1
bc bc
sol
J φ = − J (32)
Therefore, it is not necessary to introduce in the
strain decomposition (Eq. 1) the drying shrinkage
strain. Drying shrinkage results directly from the
elastic and delayed response of the solid skeleton,
which is included in the adopted framework (Eq.
27), as it has been suggested.
2.5 Coupling between creep, shrinkage and
cracking
In the case where drying and cracking occur si
multaneously, the surface of voids increase and the
pore pressure applies on the cracks lip. Meanwhile,
the cracking induces a decrease of the pore pressure
effetc, due to the rearrangement of water molecules.
The relationship between pore pressure, the apparent
stress and the effective stresses reads (see Fig. 6) :
( ) ( ) 1
sol
σ I d σ I d σ φ φ
l
= − − ⋅ − + ⋅
l
(33)
where d is a tensor which is associated to the crack
ing (which the terms values are between 0 and
). d is related to D by the relationship : 1 φ −
( ) 1 d D φ = − (34)
¦
¦
The stress
sol
σ applied to the solid skeleton reads:
( ) ( ) ( )
1 1
0 si i j
t
c sol
ii c ii t sol
ii
sol
ij
D D
α
α
σ
σ
'
1
= − −
1
1
!
1
= ≠ 1
1+
p
(35)
2.6 Incrementaliterative solution procedure
During a timestep, the stress and the relative humid
ity histories are approximated by linear functions:
( )
)
( )
( )
 
1
1
1
1
,
with
n n n
n n
n n n n
n n n n
n n
n n n
t t t t t
h t h h
t t t t
h h h t t
t
t
+
+
+
+
∈ ¦ −
= + ∆
¦ ¦
∆ ∆ = −
¦ ¦
´ ´
∆ = − −
¦ ¦
= + ∆
¦ ¦
∆ ∆ = −
¹ ¹
σ σ σ
σ σ σ
(36)
n
By solving the differential Equations 20 and 23
with the approximation of stresses and relative hu
midity (Eq. 36), the total creep strains can be ex
pressed as (Benboudjema 2002):
1
1
n n
bc bc bc bc n bc n
+
+
= + + A B C ε ε σ σ (37)
where ε
n
bc
is the basic creep strains vector at time
step number n; A
bc
, B
bc
and C
bc
are tensors (of sec
ond orders) which depend only upon material pa
rameters, relative humidity (h
n
and h
n+1
), t
n
and ∆t.
The effective stresses at the end of the time step
number n are updated by the relationship:
( )
1 1 1 1
1 0 0
n n n n
n e p ds
+ + + + +
+
= = − − − E E σ ε ε ε ε ε
1 n
bc
(38)
where ε
e
bc
, ε
p
bc
and
1 n+
ε are the elastic, plastic and
total strains vectors at time step number n+1, respec
tively.
φ
1
ii
d φ − −
ii
σ
sol
σ
ii
σ
sol
σ
ii
d
ii
σ
′
ii
σ
sol
σ
1
ii
D −
ii
D
φ
1
ii
d φ − −
ii
σ
sol
σ
ii
σ
sol
σ
ii
d
ii
σ
′
ii
σ
sol
σ
1
ii
D −
ii
D
Figure 6. Effective stress concept (with cracking).
Finally, if one makes use of the Equation 38, the
stresses vector at the end of the time step reads:
( )
( )
1
1
1
0 0
1
tr n
n n 1 bc p
bc bc
tr n n n
n 1 bc p bc bc bc n
+
+ +
−
+
+
= − ⋅ ∆
¦
= +
´
¦
= ⋅ − − ⋅ − ⋅
¦
¹
E
E 1 E C E
E A B
σ σ ε
σ ε ε ε σ
(39)
where E
bc
is the stiffness tensor, corrected by creep
effect, and σ
tr
n+1
is the trial stress vector, corrected
by creep effect. They can be calculated at the begin
ning of the time step, since all the involved quanti
ties are known at this time.
Eq. (38) shows that the creep effect can be taken
into account without any noticeable changes in exist
ing return mapping algorithms for soften
ing/hardening plasticity (Simo & Taylor 1986, Feen
stra 1993). The computed stress state is therefore
simultaneously affected by creep and cracking.
The governing equations of the softening plastic
model are non linear. Hence, a local iterative proce
dure is used. During a time step, an Euler backward
integration scheme is adopted. The nonlinear equa
tions are solved by the NewtonRaphson method
(Simo & Taylor 1986). Therefore, the numerical so
lution is unconditionally stable (Chen & Schreyer
1995).
3 VALIDATION OF THE MODELING
The validation of the modeling is performed. The
objective is to see if the model is able to retrieve the
main characteristics of drying shrinkage. Reanalysis
of the experimental results obtained by Granger
(1996) is undertaken in term of drying shrinkage
evolution (with respect to weight loss).
Drying shrinkage is performed on a concrete
specimen (mix 1:3,9:5,6:0,5) 16 cm in diameter and
100 cm in height. The strain is measured on a 50cm
base located in the central part of the specimen,
which allows avoiding all boundary effects (Fig. 7).
An identicallysized specimen protected from desic
cation serves to measure the level of autogeneous
shrinkage, which is then subtracted from total
shrinkage in order to derive the actual drying shrink
age.
Basic creep tests are performed on a identical
specimen.
b) principle : shrinkage is
measured in the central
part of the sample
a) test : (by courtesy of
LCPC, Paris, France)
z
o
n
e
o
f
m
e
a
s
u
r
e
m
e
n
t
:
5
0
c
m
Figure 7. Test description.
First, drying parameters are identified from
weight loss measurements. Basic creep parameters
are also identified from experimental results. Then
drying shrinkage is simulated with the present
model. As presented in previous investigations, lin
ear drying shrinkage model :
ds ds
k C ε 1 =
(40)
,coupled with damage or elastoplastic damage
models, fails to describe accurately the whole evolu
tion of drying shrinkage strains (Benboudjema
2002).
Numerical simulations are performed. We display
in Fig. 8 the numerical and experimental evolutions
of drying shrinkage strains with respect to weight
loss. The evolution obtained with the linear drying
shrinkage model is also reported on the same figure.
The computations show that a best agreement
with the experimental results is reached with the
present model, especially at the end of the evolution.
The decomposition of the drying shrinkage strain
is plotted in Fig. 9. We can see that the amplitude of
the obtained structural strain (inelastic strain)
reaches a maximum value of about 180 µm.m
1
(25
% of the total drying shrinkage strain), which is not
negligible.
Experiment
0
250
500
750
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5
Weight loss [%]
D
r
y
i
n
g
s
h
r
i
n
k
a
g
e
[
µ
m
.
m

1
]
Linear drying
shrinkage model
Adopted
model
Figure 8. Drying shrinkage evolutions.
200
0
200
400
600
0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
Weight loss [%]
S
t
r
a
i
n
s
[
µ
m
.
m

1
]
Free
drying
shrinkage
Inelastic
strain
Elastic
strain
Figure 9. Decomposition of the drying shrinkage strain.
Moreover, we can confirm a number of hypothe
ses forwarded by various authors, namely (Fig. 9):
− the drying of concrete begins by a phase of skin
cracking (see the inelastic strain) which does not
give rise to drying shrinkage;
− afterwards, drying shrinkage becomes propor
tional to weight loss (see the free drying shrink
age).
Granger (1996) suggests that the asymptotic evo
lution of drying shrinkage is due to partial crack clo
sure. We found here that this not the case, since a
linear drying shrinkage model (see Fig. 8) do not
succeed to reproduce this behaviour. We show
through this simulation that this behaviour is a
purely intrinsic effect, since the Fig. 9 shows a de
crease of the free drying shrinkage.
4 CONCLUSION
An unified approach for creep and drying shrink
age has been proposed. It is suggested that drying
shrinkage is a consequence of the elastic and the de
layed response (basic creep) of the solid skeleton
under pore pressure. The adopted modeling frame
work, the mechanics of unsaturated porous media,
allows for modeling in a implicit fashion drying
shrinkage. This model has been coupled with a
cracking model (orthotropic elastoplastic damage
model). A simple drying model has been also used.
Experimental results of Granger (1996) have been
reanalyzed through numerical simulations. It shows
that the experimental evolution of drying shrinkage
can be reproduced more accurately, especially the
asymptotic evolution (in the drying shrinkage –
weight loss diagram) with respect to a linear drying
shrinkage model.
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