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Particulate structure and microstructure evolution of concrete investigated by DEM
Part 1: Aggregate and binder packing

Huan He1,2, Nghi L.B. Le1, P. Stroeven1
1 Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
2 College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Beijing University of Technology, China

Experimental approaches in concrete technology are time-consuming, laborious and thus expensive. Developments in computer facilities render possible nowadays realistically simulating the particulate structure and microstructure of cementitious materials. For that purpose, discrete element methods (DEM) are required because of more correctly simulating particle dispersion. Dynamic DEMs like Delft-produced SPACE and HADES were developed and applied. The approaches are outlined and usage is illustrated by means of assessing particle size effects on packing density of aggregate. Shape simulation is accomplished for simple shape families like ellipsoids and polyhedra. This type of particle is used so far for the simulation of structures consisting of gravel, crushed rock or cement particles.

Key words: Discrete element method, concrete, aggregate, shape effect, cement paste, packing