Analysis of tensile behavior of recycled aggregate concrete using acoustic emission technique

  • Natalie Williams Portal RISE Research Institutes of Sweden
  • Mathias Flansbjer RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Borås, Sweden
  • Diego Carró-Lopez Universidade da Coruña, La Coruña, Spain
  • Ignasi Fernandez Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden
Keywords: Recycled aggregates, Recycled aggregate concrete, Acoustic emission technique, Tensile behavior


Recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) was processed from reinforced concrete edge beams sourced from a demolished bridge. This material replaced different ratios of coarse aggregate in a benchmark concrete. The tensile behavior of the developed concrete mixes was characterized via monotonic and cyclic uniaxial tensile tests performed on notched cylinders. Such tensile tests allow for the quantification of the fracture energy and softening behavior of the concrete. Moreover, acoustic emission (AE) measurements were conducted in conjunction with the cyclic tests to characterize e.g. micro-crack initiation and development, as well as crack localization. The tensile behavior of the various materials was found to be similar with minimal variation in the results. However, the softening behavior suggests that the RCA materials are slightly more brittle compared to both the mother and benchmark materials. The corresponding AE measurements also indicated similarities between the micro-crack initiation and development for these mixes. It can be constituted that if the concrete used to produce RCA is of high quality and from one source, the resulting RAC will have adequate tensile properties with minimal variation, despite the aggregate replacement ratio.

How to Cite
Williams Portal, N., Flansbjer, M., Carró-Lopez, D. and Fernandez, I. (2020) “Analysis of tensile behavior of recycled aggregate concrete using acoustic emission technique”, RILEM Technical Letters, 50, pp. 131-140. doi: 10.21809/rilemtechlett.2020.121.