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The fracture response of blended formulations containing limestone powder: Evaluations using two-parameter fracture model and digital image correlation

Cement and Concrete Composites
DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2014.07.018
  • Limestone
  • Fracture Toughness
  • Two-Parameter Fracture Model
  • Pore Structure
  • Digital Image Correlation


Abstract The fracture response of mortars in which OPC is partially replaced by limestone or a combination of limestone and fly ash/metakaolin (i.e., for total OPC replacement levels of 20% and 35% by volume) is reported. The blended mortars demonstrate fracture parameters (fracture toughness, KICS and critical crack tip opening displacement, CTODc, determined using the two-parameter fracture model, TPFM) that are comparable to or better than those of pure OPC formulations in spite of having slightly lower compressive strengths than the OPC systems. The ternary blends containing limestone and metakaolin at 20% OPC replacement show the best performance: a consequence of the beneficial limestone‚Äďalumina synergy that has been previously established. The strain energy release rates also show trends that are in line with the other fracture parameters. The fracture parameters for selected mixtures evaluated through a non-contact digital image correlation technique are found to correspond well to those determined from TPFM. The outcomes highlight that improved ductility can be attained through the judicious use of limestone and synergistic OPC replacement materials.

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