Finite Element model of concrete repaired by High Molecular Weight Methacrylate (HMWM)

K. Ji, N. Gao, P. Wang, L. Stewart, C. Arson

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Epoxy is widely used to fill concrete cracks that are less than a millimeter in width to protect the steel rebars from corrosion. However, the mechanical behavior of epoxy-repaired concrete remains vastly unknown. In order to understand whether or not epoxy can be used to recover the mechanical properties of damaged concrete, we provide a quantitative assessment of concrete repaired by injection of High Molecular Weight Metacrylate (HMWM). Uniaxial compression tests and three-point bending tests were conducted on cut-and-repaired specimens. The experiments were simulated with the Finite Element Method (FEM), in which concrete was assigned a constitutive model that combines continuum damage mechanics and plasticity and in which the concrete/HMWM interface was modeled with bilinear softening cohesive zone elements (CZEs). The numerical model was calibrated and validated against the experimental results. Steel-reinforced concrete (RC) beams were subjected to three-point bending to produce cracks. The beams were then repaired and reloaded. We used Digital Image Correlation (DIC) to identify the zones of high maximum principal strain after the first loading cycle. These zones were modeled with repaired concrete elements and HMWM CZEs to simulate the second load cycle. The load-displacement curves, damage distributions and strain fields obtained numerically are in agreement with those obtained experimentally, which validates the proposed model. Our simulation results suggest that HMWM can penetrate cracks of width 0.01 mm and above by gravity. We also found that HMWM reparation increases concrete stiffness and strength if cracks in concrete members are over 0.1 mm in width, in which case, the load capacity of repaired RC beams is 30–40% higher than that of as-built RC beams.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111860
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohesive Zone Model
  • Compression test
  • Concrete
  • Concrete Damage Plasticity (CDP)
  • Digital Image Correlation
  • Epoxy
  • Finite Element Method
  • Reparation
  • Three-point bending test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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