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Materials and Structures/Mat~riaux et Constructions, Vol.

32, July 1999, pp 437-444

Size effect and boundary conditions in the brazilian test: theoretical analysis
C. Rocco 1, G. V Guineae, j. Planas 2 and M. Elices2
(1) Departamento de Construcciones, Facultad de Ingenien'a, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, La Plata, Argentina. (2) Departamento de Ciencia de Materiales, Escuela de Ingenieros de Caminos, Universidad Polit&nica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, 28040, Madrid, Spain. Paper received: May 18, 1998; Paper accepted: February 16, 1999 A B S T R A C T

R I~ S U M I~
La re'sistance m&anique en traction indirecte ddtermin& a part# de l'essai brdsilien est cens& dtre une propridtd inddpendante de la taille des @ouvettes et devrait d@endre seulement de reszstance mecamque mtrmseque du matenau. Cependant, comme Pont montrd exp&imentalement ptusieurs anteurs, ta re'sistance m&anique ddpend de la taille des dprouvettes. Darts cet article, une analyse tkdorique de l' effet de taille dans l'essai de compression diamdtrale, a dtd d&elopp& en employant un module de rupture non-lindaire basg sur les concepts de la th&rie de lafissure cohe'sive. Les r&ultats obtenus ont dtd confronte's a ceux qui proviennent de l'approcke de la th&rie de la contrainte limite. Deux variables importantes ont dtd dtudi&s : la forme des appuis et la g&mdtrie des @ouvettes. Une expression analytique fermde d@endante de la largeur des appuis et de la g~omdtrie a dtd trouv~e. Les ffsuttats confirmerit que la rdsistance m&anique ddcrdt avec la taille des dprouvettes, tendant toujours vers une solution affmptotique pour des dprouvettes de grande taille. Dam le domaine des tailles analys&s (0,1 h 2,5 m de diam~tre pour un bdton courant), la rdsistance peut varier jusqu'h 25% dans des @rouvettes cflindriques et jusqu'a 35% clans le cas des dprouvettes prismatiques de section carr&, bien que cet effet soit aussi tr& ddpendant de la largeur des appuis. Pour des lar2eurs d' appuis inf&ieures a 4% du diam~tre, l'effet de taille devient ndgligeable et le rdsultat s'approche de la rdsistance mecamque pour toutes dimensions d eprouvettes.
la t . / 9 , , \ ! 9 l 9 ji iiiiiiiiii~iiii

Splitting strength determined in the Brazilian test is assumed to be a property independent of size and uniquely related to the intrinsic material strength. However, as was experimentally demonstrated by various authors, the splitting strength depends on the specimen size. In this paper, the size effect in the Brazilian test is analyzed theoretically using a nonlinear fracture model based on cohesive crack concepts and the results obtained are compared with the classical strength limit approach. Two important variables are studied: the load-bearing strip and the geometry of the specimen. From the numerical results a closed form expression is proposed, dependent on the width of the bearing strip and on geometry. The results confirm that splitting strength decreases with the specimen size, tending towards an asymptotic solution for large size specimens. Within the size range analyzed (0.1 m to 2.5 m diameter for typical concrete) the splitting strength can vary by up to 25% in cylindrical specimens and by up to 35% in prismatic square section specimens, although this size effect is strongly dependent on the load-bearing strip. For widths of bearing strip smaller than 4% of the specimen diameter, the effect of the specimen size is negligible and the splitting strength approaches the tensile strength for any practical specimen size.

1. I N T R O D U C T I O N
An important characteristic of the fracture behaviour in quasi brittle materials such as concretes, rocks and ceramics, is the size effect: The strength of specimens or structures made of these materials depends on their size. Many results of experimental tests show that the strength decreases with specimen size [1].

The strength determined in different concrete standard tests was originally assumed to be a property independent of size and uniquely related to the intrinsic material strength. Two examples of this approach are the modulus of rupture, measured in either three or four point bending (ASTM C293 and ASTM C78 standards), and the splitting tensile strength determined in the Brazilian test (ASTM C496 standard). This assump-

Prof. M. Elicesand Prof.J. Planasare RILEM Senior Members. Both participatein the work of RILEM TechnicalCommitteeQFS (Size effectand scaling of quasibrittlefracture). Prof. Elices alsopan icipates in RILEM TC 147-FMB (Fracturemechanicsapplicationsto anchorageand bond) and I48-SSC (Test methodsfor the strain s@ening responseof concrete). Prof. G. Guinea is the I994 Robert gHermite medallist. The first part of this paper (experimentalanalysis)has beenpublishedin Materialsand Structuresn~

1359-5997/99 9 R.ILEM

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Materials and Structures/Mat&iaux et Constructions, Vol. 32, July 1999


Fig. 1 - Influence of the specimen size on the spritting tensile strength of the Brazilian test.

51
4
0O 0

8
O0 0 0 0

5
0

08
e8

o w 8o0o

o
o I

Results reported
by various authors. [6-11]. 10I~ Hasegawa et al. [71 ..... Roeeo .et.a!. !10] , 100 D (ram) 1000

2 9 o Sabnis and Mirza [6] ,Ki,',m,and Eo, [8] ,


100 '"i'0o0

0 10 ' '

o 9 0 10
......

Bazant et al. [9] Chert and Yuan [11]


i' 0 ' "ibo6

D (ram)

D (ram)

tion is basically true for an elastic-brittle material, defined as one that remains elastic until at some point the tensile stress reaches the tensile strength ft, and catastrophic failure occurs. In quasi-brittle materials such as concrete, this rupture mechanism is not valid and the failure stress depends on the specimen size. The size effect on the modulus of rupture has been studied both by laboratory tests [2-4] and by applying different fracture models [5]. As a consequence of these tests, the dependence of the modulus of rupture on the specimen size has been included in some codes for structural design, for example the CEB-FIP-90 model code. For the Brazilian test, the evaluations of the size effect on the splitting tensile strength are fewer, and in some cases the results are contradictory. Fig. 1 presents results of the Brazilian test conducted by various authors on concrete specimens [6 to 11]. In most cases the splitting tensile strength, fst, decreases with specimen size, but some tests show a different trend. For example, in those conducted by Bazant et al. [9], for small specimens the splitting tensile strength decreases as the size increases, but when a certain size is exceeded, the trend seems to reverse, i.e. the strength appears to increase with size. A moderate increase in splitting tensile strength with specimen size has also been observed by Hondros [12] and Lundborg [13]. In contrast, in the Brazilian test reported by Rocco, Guinea, Planas and Elices [10] and in a wide range of specimen sizes, the results show that f~t decreases monotonically as the size increases, approaching an asymptote for large sizes. In these tests, for large enough specimens, the Brazilian splitting strength is practically independent of the size. The fact that the splitting tensile strength depends on the specimen size, and the contradictory trends reported, cast doubt on this splitting tensile strength as a material property uniquely related to the tensile strength. This work presents a numerical analysis of the influence of specimen size in the Brazilian tests using a nonlinear fracture model based on cohesive crack concepts. The geometry and loading conditions stated in the ASTM standard for the Brazilian test are taken as the starting point. In Section 2, the Brazilian test is described, and the influence of the width of the load-bearing strip in a linear elastic material is discussed. Section 3 presents the cohesive fracture model and the results for the effect of the size and of the support conditions on the splitting tensile strength. Section 4 gives

approximate expressions for the splitting strength as a function of the specimen. The paper closes with a few final remarks.

2. THE BRAZILIAN TEST: BRIYILE LINEAR-ELASTIC MODEL 2.1 Description and splitting tensile strength
In the Brazilian test a cylindrical or prismatic specimen is compressed with its axis horizontal between the platens of a testing machine, as shown schematically in Fig. 2a. To prevent multiple cracking and crushing at the points of loading, the load is distributed by two bearing strips, whose recommended width varies according to
P P

t~ b

t
P

t
P

D (Yt

t
(a)

t
(b)

Fig. 2 - Spfitting test: (a) load configuration; (b) stress distribution.

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Rocco,Guinea,Planas,Elices
the various standards. If the material behaviour is linearelastic, this geometry and loading ensure a nearly uniform tensile stress state in the center plane of the specimen: The stress distribution becomes more uniform as the load-bearing strip becomes narrower. (Fig. 2b). According to this distribution, the expected failure mode is the split of the specimen in two halves across the plane of loading. For brittle-elastic materials the maximum tensile stress at failure is a measure of the tensile strength. When the load-bearing strips are very narrow, the maximum tensile stress approaches the theoretical limit for a concentrated load. A linear elastic analysis for a cylindrical specimen [14] provides the following result for the maximum tensile stress shown in Fig. 2b:
(~max(~ = O) = 2P nBD cyCax(P,~)= 2P (1_[32) 3/2 nBD\

(3) where [3 = b/D is the relative width of the bearing strips. For a prismatic specimen of square section the authors obtained the following formula, valid for 13_<0.20 [10]:

(4)
Fig. 5 shows the variation of the maximum tensile stress with the width of the bearing strip b in the cylindrical and in the prismatic specimen of square section. Equations (3) and (4), are plotted in Fig. 5, and the points correspond to the results of finite element computations. The maximum tensile stress is plotted relative to its maximum value for concentrated load, ~max(13= 0) and decreases moderately as the width increases. Within the range specified by the standards (0.04 _<13-< 0.16) the variation of Omax(13 ) is less than 4%. This result means that the splitting tensile strength is slightly overestimated when computed from the standard formula (concentrated load) for an elastic-brittle material. As we see next, the nonlinear fracture behaviour of the material intensifies this effect, increasing the influence of the width of the bearing strips.

(1)

where P is the load, B the specimen thickness, D the specimen diameter and 13 = b/D is the relative width of the bearing strip. Thus, if the behaviour of the material were brittle-elastic, the value of the foregoing equation at maximum load would give the tensile strength ft" Since real materials are not purely brittle-elastic this value may be expected to be close to, but not coincident with the tensile strength. Therefore, the splitting tensile strength, ft, is defined as: 2Pu s - nBD (2)

where Pu is the peak (ultimate) load. This same expression is used for the prismatic specimen, as some authors have shown that the stress distribution at the center plane is similar to that of cylinders [15].

3. COHESIVE FRACTURE MODEL: SIZE EFFECT AND INFLUENCE OF THE WIDTH OF THE BEARING STRIPS
The change in a structural property as the size of the structure increases is known as a size effect related to this property. The most important size effect for the designer is the one related to the strength of the structure. Tojus-

2.2 Effect of the width of bearing strips: linear-elastic solution


As mentioned earlier, the splitting tensile strength is calculated using equation (2), which assumes that the load is concentrated. However, the load acting on the specimen is distributed on a finite width by two load-bearing strips (as required by most standards). Fig. 3 shows a scheme of the Brazilian test set-up. The relative width of the bearing strip, b/D, can range from 4% up to 16%, depending on the standard selected. When the load is distributed, the tensile distribution in the center plane of the specimen is not uniform and the maximum tensile strength is located at the center of the specimen. Fig. 4 shows contours of equal principal tensile stress for prismatic specimens with two different bearing strips (b/D = 0.02 and 0.16). As the width of the bearing strips increases, the maximum value of the tensile stress decreases for any given load. Similar results were obtained for cylindrical specimens. For cylindrical specimens, the maximum tensile stress, amax(13 ) was deduced by Tang [16], with the following result:

,oa, Cell
[
\

h
/ " I Spherical Seating -_ D
Fig. 3Brazilian test set=up.

S p e c i m e ~

Strip

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Materials and Structures/Mat6riaux et Constructions,Vol. 32, July 1999

P/2= 8 KN b/2= 1 mm B=100 nun


0 95 .....

c%;DI
I

*P
0.8C-,, ,, t .... t .... i ....

0.00

0.05

0.10

0.15
= b/D

L .... i .... 0 . 2 0 0.25 0.30

Fig. 5 - Variation of the maximum tensile stress with the relative width of the bearing strip. Lines correspond to equations (3) and (4). Finite element computations are represented by points.

D/2= 50 mm

~
b/

P/2= 8 KN b/2= 8 mm B=100 mm

/
0 30 0.10 MPa 0 50 " t

This is not to say that concrete is immune to statistical size effect; of course it is not, but it is less dependent than brittle materials with single-flaw failure, and in many cases the fracture mechanics size effect dominates. The cohesive crack is one of the models based on fracture mechanics which best describes the fracture behaviour of concrete and other quasi-brittle materials, and will be extensively used in the following. The first applications of cohesive crack model to concrete were those of Hilleborg and co-workers [17] and most numerical models now used for fracture concrete simulations are based on this model. A review of the main properties of the cohesive crack model was published by the authors in some recent papers [18, 19]. This model is applied in this work to analyze the effects of the specimen size and width of the bearing strips on the splitting tensile strength.

3.1 Cohesive crack model: Theoretical background


A cohesive crack model is characterized by the properties of the bulk material, the condition of crack initiation, and the crack evolution function. The simplest assumptions are: 1. The bulk material behaviour follows a linear-elastic and isotropic stress-strain relationship, with elastic modulus E and Poisson's ratio v. This assumption is not essential but makes computations easy. The bulk material can be modeled as nonlinear elastic or elastoplastic depending on the problem considered. In this paper we consider only linear elastic behaviour. 2. The crack initiates at a point where the maximum principal stress (JI, reaches the tensile strength, ft, which is considered a material property. We will assume that this parameter is the same ft as mentioned in 2.1. The crack forms normal to the direction of the major principal stress. 3. After its formation, the crack opens while transferring stress from one face to another (Fig. 6a). The stress

D/2= 50 mm
Fig. 4 - Contours of equal principal tensile stress from finite element computations in linear-elastic prism specimens for two different relative widths of bearing strips b/D. (a) b/D = 0.02 and (b) b/D = 0.16.

tify and evaluate this size effect, various theories have been put forward. The earliest theories were based on the statistic approach of Weibull developed for brittle materials whose strength is totally dependent on the characteristics of the worst flaw (weakest link theory). However, it turned out later that this theory is not directly applicable to concrete, in which many initial flaws grow and coalesce before the peak load is reached.
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Rocco, Guinea, Planas, Elices

tensile strength ft, the specific fracture energy GF, the initial slope (characterized by the ft,/Wl ratio) and the critical crack opening w c (see Fig. 6b). Combining ft, GF and E, a characteristic material size was introduced by Hillerborg to compare with the geometrical dimensions: lch - EGF (5)

ft
In most practical applications the sofening curve can be adequately approximated by a bilinear curve as is depicted in Fig. 7a, as many authors have pointed out [2, 20, 21]. In addition, for notched specimens of laboratory sizes and for unnotched specimens of all sizes, and as far as the maximum load is concerned, only the slope of the initial portion of the bilinear sofening curve is relevant [18, 19]. In this case the sofening curve can be replaced by an equivalent linear curve as shown in Fig. 7b. This means that only two parameters of the sofening curve are significant: the tensile strength, ft, and the horizontal intercept of the initial tangent, w 1. For these cases the dominant material size is given by: lch1 - EWl

~
o~
0a > o

--- o = f t

2rt

(6)

'"",~ ~.- o = ffw)


~ ~ Wc

Taking into account the material parameters, the linear sofening curve can be conveniently written in dimensionless form as depicted in Fig. 7c. When a parametric analysis is performed, the use of this curve is advantageous because the curve does not depend on the material characteristics.

wl

Crackopening (w)

3.2 Application to the Brazilian test


To model the test, it is necessary to know the rupture mode of the specimen. As shown by the authors [22], the rupture mechanism in the splitting test is not simple and two failure mechanisms can be identified during the test. In most cases, the maximum load is governed by the growth of a single crack in the mid plane of the specimen, from the centre towards the edges [22]. To compute the load displacement curve, and the splitting tensile strength, a cohesive crack in the loading plane of the specimen was considered, and the general hypotheses indicated in section 3.1 were adopted. Two Brazilian geometries were analyzed: the cylinder and the square prism. Due to the absence of notch in these speci-

Fig. 6 - Cohesive crack model.

transferred -the cohesive stress- is a function of the crack opening displacement history. For monotonic mode I opening, the cohesive stress is normal to the crack faces and is assumed to be a unique function of the crack opening: o = f(w) The function f(w) is called the sofening function or sofening curve and is a material function, i.e. geometry and size independent. For concrete and other cementitious materials, the sofening function is a nonincreasing function of the crack opening, as depicted in Fig. 6b. This function is the key ingredient of cohesive crack models. The main features of the sofening curve are the

(a)
-t----(~_--ft
*--o=ft ~ o=f(w)

(b) o e,
~ o=ffw)

(c)

Fig. 7 - Bilinear and linear sofening functions: (a) bilinear function; (b) equivalent linear function and (c) dimensionless linear function.

wI

w1

W 441

wf t/GF1

Materials and Structures/Mat6riaux et Constructions, Vol. 32, July 1999

t
!

P
I uncracked _ligament cohesive _zone crack cohesive zone uncracked ligament

~ :i
" . 9

cohesiv ! crack ] c

The results obtained with the model show that the splitting tensile strength is strongly affected by the specimen size; fst decreases with the size, and this effect becomes more pronounced as the width of the bearing strips increases. For a relative width of 16%, used in most standards, the splitting tensile strength can vary by up to 30% for sizes ranging from 0.4 to 10 lchl, which covers the interval of practical interest (for a standard concrete lch1 = 20 cm). In contrast, the size effect practically disappears for relative widths under 4% . When 13 approaches zero, the size effect vanishes and the cohesive model converges to the elastic-brittle solution.

~P
Fig. 8 - Cohesive crack model applied to the Brazilian test: Scheme of the discretation of the cohesive crack in prismatic and cylindrical specimens.

4. CLOSED FORM EXPRESSIONS DEPENDENT ON BOTH THE SIZE AND THE WIDTH OF THE BEARING STRIPS

mens the maximum load is determined by the slope of the initial portion of the sofening curve, [18, 19] so a linear sofening curve was used in the computations. The validity of this simplification was verified a posteriori from the results computed with the model. To solve the problem, a method developed by Planas and Elices [23] was used, based on the superposition of elastic cracks of different depths. Fig. 8 is a scheme of the crack modeling for the two types of specimens analyzed. For discretization purposes, 200 nodes were placed along the crack path. In both cases, relative widths of the bearing strips, b/D, between 2% and 16%, were used. Figs. 9a and 9b are the central result of these computations and show the size effect results for the splitting tensile strength in both cylinders and square prisms. Using the same criterion as before, the splitting tensile strength fst is computed from fst = 2Pu/r~BD, where Pu, is the ultimate load obtained numerically. The curves are given in dimensionless form by using ft and lch1 as reference parameters. Each curve corresponds to different values: relative widths of the load-bearing strips.

4.1 General expression of the size effect based on the cohesive model
According to the results shown in Fig. 9, which were obtained with the cohesive model, fst can be related to the specimen size and the width of the bearing strips as: ~tt = H(D/lchl,b/D ) (7)

where H(D/lch 1, b/D) is a dimensionless function depending on the specimen geometry (cylindrical or prismatic), and on the relative width of the bearing strips, lch1 is the characteristic length associated with the equivalent linear sofening function, as defined in (6). From the computed size effect curves, the function H was adjusted by regression analysis. The following functional form was adopted:
fst _ 1 + C3 (8)

ft cl + c2D/lchl where the parameters ci = ci (13,geometry) depend on the geometry and on the relative width of the bearing strips,
1.30

1.30 p 1.25 1.20 1.15 1.10 1.05 1.00 0.95 ~ 0.02 ..... 0.5 ' 1
DAchl

(a)
1.25 1.20

(b)

lP

---. 1.15 1.10


1.05

1.00 10 0.95
i

0.02
, , i , I , t , , , i ,

0.5

10

D/IchI
Fig. 9b - Variation of the splitting tensile strength with the specimen size: prismatic specimen of square cross section with different relative width of bearing strip, [3 = b/D.

Fig. 9a - Variation of the splitting tensile strength with the specimen size: cylindrical specimen with different relative widths of bearing strip, 13= b/D.

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Rocco,Guinea,Planas,Elices
Table 1 - P a r a m e t e r s Cl, c 2 and c 3 specimen 13= b/D c1 c2 c3 0.02 cylinder 0.04 0.08 -28.41 0.16 -6.73 26.57 prism (square section) 0.02 / 0.04 27.41 ) 2.35 17.80 49.75
I

0.08 -12.53 50.20

0.16 -4.89 18.87

-228.22 -96.96

947.60 362.66 105.53

1.0004 1.0017 1.0031 1.0233 1.0046 1.0111 1.0198 1.0456

solution of the cohesive model for D/lchI = 5.0 with the asymptotic solution for both cylindrical and prismatic specimens. As seen in the figure, the actual cohesive solution is very close to the asymptotic solution For ordinary concretes (lch1 = 100 mm to 250 mm), the condition D/lch 1 > 5 is fulfilled for specimen sizes over 500 or 1250 mm, much larger than the standard test size (D = 150 mm).

b/D. Table 1 gives the optimum values of these coefficients for the range of sizes analyzed (0.40 < D/lch1 < 10). Equation (8) gives a general expression for the size effect in the Brazilian test. Applying this formula to the ASTM C496 standard, where cylinders of 150 mm diameter with strips of 25 mm (b/D = 0.16) are used, it is found that: fst _ 1 + 1.0233 ft -6.73 + 26.57 D/lob1 (9)

1.15 1.10 1.05

b.P

0.95

The relation between fst and ~ is in the range 1.05 to 1.13 for lch1 between 100 and 250 mm, (usual figures for conventional concrete). These values are similar to the empirical values traditionally accepted for the fst,/~, ratio. For example; in the ACI-318 code and the CEB-90 Model Code, the fst/ft ratio are 1.12 and 1.11, respectively [21, 24].

~ .....

Eq. 1lb Eq. lla t .... 0.05


I , , ,

0.90 . . . . 0.00

0.10

0.15

0.20

Fig. 10 - Comparison of the elastic-brittle asymptotic solution (Equations 11a and 11b) and the solution for the cohesive crack model for D/lchI = 5.0.

4.2 Solution for large specimens


As the specimen size increases, the cohesive zone at maximum load becomes less and less important in relation to the specimen size. Thus, in the limit -for infinite values of D-, we can assume that the maximum load is reached when the maximum tensile stress at some point of the specimen is equal to the tensile strength. Using this assumption for a brittle linear-elastic material and taking into account expressions (3) and (4), one arrives at: ~Cax(Pu,~) = fst (1- ~2)3/2 = ft cylindrical specimen (10a)

5. CONCLUSIONS AND FINAL REMARKS


By using the cohesive crack model, the general size effect curves are obtained for the splitting tensile strength f~t = 2Pu/~BD, These curves depend on the material properties (ft and lchl), the kind of specimen (cylinder or prism), and the relative width of the load bearing strips (b/D). From the numerical results, a closedform expression for the size effect is proposed. With this expression it is possible to estimate in a simple way the splitting tensile strength in the Brazilian test for a wide range of sizes (0.4 _<D/lch1 _< 10). This general expression can be applied to the specimens defined in the various test standards. The results show that the splitting tensile strength depends on the specimen size and approaches the tensile strength, ft, as the size increases. For specimens of large size (D/lch1 > 5.0), the solution of the cohesive model approaches the asymptotic solution based on the stress limit criterion for a material with elastic-brittle behaviour. Within the size range analyzed (0.40 _<D/lch1 _<10), the splitting tensile strength can vary by up to 25% in cylindrical specimens and by up to 35% in prismatic square section specimens. This size effect is strongly dependent on the width of the bearingstrips. In general, as the width decreases the size effect is less significant. For example, for values of the relative width of the bearing strip below 4%, the effect of the size on the splitting tensile strength is negligible.

[-/ 2~5/3 ] OCmax(Pu,13)=fst|{1-[3 ] -0.0115 =ft prismatic specimen (10b) Which can be rewritten as follows:

f~t_ 1 ft [(1_~2)3/2 ] fst_ 1 ---7 I ft (1_132)5/3_ 0.0115


_

cylindrical specimen (11a)

prismatic specimen (11b) If we compare the asymptotic values given by equations (11a) and (11b) with the general solution of the cohesive model (equation 8), it can be proved that for values of D/lchI _>5, the asymptotic solutions (11a, 11b) are accurate enough to give a good estimate offsr Fig. 10 compares the

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Materials and Structures/Mat6riaux et Constructions, Vol. 32, July 1999

The dependence of the splitting tensile strength on the specimen size and on the width of the bearing strip should be taken into account when using the Brazilian test. Due to this size effect, the splitting tensile strength cannot be considered a material property. What is actually measured in the test is a nominal strength whose value approaches the tensile strength as the specimen size increases. Moreover, in the standard test method the width of the bearing strip is not taken into account in computing the splitting strength, and important differences may appear with specimens of small sizes and large widths of bearing strips. For example; if D/lch1 = 0.40, the variation of the splitting tensile strength is over 35% when the bearing strip varies between 2% and 16% of the specimen diameter.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors gratefully acknowledge support for this research provided by CICYT, Spain, under grants MAT 97-1022 and MAT 97-1007-CO2, and by the Ministry of Education and Science, Spain, with collaboration by the Foreign Scientific Program.

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