This paper presents the results of experimental studies of the fracture behavior of concrete under compression. Cylindrical specimens of concrete were subjected to testing under uniaxial and confined compression. An alloy with a low melting point was used to impregnate the cracks and pores in the specimen. At the stress of interest, this alloy was solidified to preserve the stress-induced microcracks as they exist under load. Such a technique not only allows one to observe the microcracks as they exist under load, but also facilitates observing the microcracks in three dimensions. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was employed to capture images from the cross sections of the concrete specimens. A comprehensive image analysis was performed on the cracking pattern developed in the concrete samples. Direct measurements on backscatter electrons (BSE) images was performed on the computerized images to determine the crack orientation, density, and length of the compressive stress-induced microcracks in concrete and the effect of confinement on microcrack behavior.
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