UC, BerkeleyTU Delft

Fracture Analysis of Concrete:
An Stereological Approach


Kamran M. Nemati

Department of Civil Engineering
University of California at Berkeley

Piet Stroeven

Faculty of Civil Engineering
TU Delft, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is one of the most versatile instruments available for the examination and analysis of microstructural characteristics of solid objects. Stereology deals with the interpretation of three-dimensional structures by means of their two-dimensional sections. A special experimental technique was developed which made possible the preservation of the compressive stress-induced microcracks in concrete as they exist under applied loads. This technique involved injecting a molten-metal alloy into the induced cracks and solidifying it before unloading. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was employed to capture images from the cross sections of the concrete specimens. Stereology attempts to characterize numerically the geometrical aspects of those features of the microstructure of interest; for example, the microcracks in concrete represented by Wood's metal. Stereological measurements were conducted to study crack orientation, length, density and other features.


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