Document Type: Original Research Paper

Authors

1 Department of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Department of Materials Engineering, College of Engineering, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran

Abstract

Natural and artificial materials including rocks and cement-based materials such as concrete and cement mortar are affected both physically and chemically by various natural factors known as weathering factors. The freeze-thaw process, as a weathering factor, considerably affects the properties of rocks and concrete. Therefore, the effect of the freeze-thaw process on the physical and mechanical properties of materials should be taken into account in areas with the risk of this process. Given that few studies have been conducted on the effect of the freeze-thaw process on the fracture toughness, in this work, we aimed at investigating the effects of the freeze-thaw cycles and freezing temperature on the mode I and mode II fracture toughness of cement mortar. To this end, specimens were exposed to 0, 5, 10, 20, and 30 freeze-thaw cycles, and the mode I and mode II fracture toughness was determined in different cycles. The effect of freezing temperature in a freeze-thaw cycle on the mode I and mode II fracture toughness was also investigated. The damage factor was also defined based on the effective porosity of cement mortar, and its changes with the number of freeze-thaw cycles and mode I and mode II fracture toughness were studied. Finally, the decay function model provided by Mutluturk was investigated. According to the results obtained, the mode I and mode II fracture toughness of cement mortar decreased linearly with increase in the number of freeze-thaw cycles. The mode I and mode II fracture toughness decreased linearly with increase in the freezing temperature in a freeze-thaw cycle. The damage factor increased with increase in the number of freeze-thaw cycles, and, additionally, its relationship with mode I and mode II fracture toughness exhibited a linear behavior.

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