Fractal cracking patterns in concretes exposed to sulfate attack
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© 2019 by the authors. Sulfate attack tests were performed on concrete samples with three water-to-cement ratios, and micro-crack growth patterns on concrete surfaces were recorded. The expansive stress and crack nucleation caused by delayed ettringite formation (DEF) were studied using X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. By means of a digital image processing technology, fractal dimensions of surface cracking patterns were determined, which monotonously increase during corrosion. Moreover, it is shown that the change of fractal dimensions is directly proportional to accumulation of DEF, and therefore, a simple theoretical model could be proposed to describe the micro-crack evolution in concretes under sulfate attack.
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