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Concept# Compressive strength

Summary

In mechanics, compressive strength (or compression strength) is the capacity of a material or structure to withstand loads tending to reduce size (as opposed to tensile strength which withstands loads tending to elongate). In other words, compressive strength resists compression (being pushed together), whereas tensile strength resists tension (being pulled apart). In the study of strength of materials, tensile strength, compressive strength, and shear strength can be analyzed independently.
Some materials fracture at their compressive strength limit; others deform irreversibly, so a given amount of deformation may be considered as the limit for compressive load. Compressive strength is a key value for design of structures.
Compressive strength is often measured on a universal testing machine. Measurements of compressive strength are affected by the specific test method and conditions of measurement. Compressive strengths are usually reported in relationship to a specific technical

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Flat slabs are commonly used in buildings due to their easiness of construction and economy. In order to keep these advantages, columns are usually not continuous through the slabs in multi-storey buildings. In these cases, the slabs are subjected to large compressive stresses at the support area of the columns, which can exceed the uniaxial compressive strength of the concrete of the slab. This critical zone is in addition subjected to large shear forces and bending moments due to the loads applied on the slab. This leads to a series of potential failure modes: crushing of the concrete of the slab between columns, flexural failures or punching shear failures. Most research has previously focused on the influence of bending of the slab on the column strength. However, no works have provided in-depth investigation of the strength of the slab when large column loads are applied. In this research, an extensive experimental program has shown that the stresses applied at the support area of the columns can be significantly larger than the uniaxial compressive strength of concrete. The test results have clearly shown that no special confinement or load transfer devices are required between columns for most cases (moderate column loads). In addition, two phenomena have been observed. The first one is a reduction on the flexural strength as column loads are applied. The second corresponds to a significant increase on the punching shear strength and deformation capacity with column loading. Existing theoretical approaches for flat slab behaviour and strength are shown not to be directly applicable for slabs subjected to large column loading. In this research, the principles of two general theories (the theory of plasticity and the critical shear crack theory) are thus used to investigate such cases. The theory of plasticity allows calculating a plastic failure envelope accounting for bending and column loading, whereas the critical shear crack theory, which in this work as been further investigated theoretically, is used to derive a failure criterion accounting for punching shear failure in presence of column loading. The results for both theories are finally presented in terms of a single interaction diagram between column loading and slab loading (bending and shear of the slab). The theoretical approaches require however the help of rather refined numerical tools for estimating the strength of a flat slab. In order to use the theoretical approaches for design, a simplified approach has been developed, allowing to calculate the strength as well as the deformation capacity of flat slabs. These tools were implemented in a design method for slab-column joints in multi-storey building. This design approach allows to derive simplified interaction diagrams that can be compared with the loading history of the structural element analysed.

Compressive tests on clay tiles used in historical masonry timbrel vaults are hindered by the relatively small thickness of the specimens, resulting in buckling or confinement problems depending on the loading direction. This paper presents an experimental campaign and a numerical validation of a novel testing setup for estimating the compressive strength of thin clay tiles used in timbrel vaults. The experimental campaign focuses on two different types corresponding to historical and modern handmade tiles. Experimental and numerical results show that the proposed test setup can be used for the estimation of the compressive strength of thin clay tiles.

This work deals principally with two important issues and their interrelation: the evolution of damage in coated cemented carbide tools used for cold forming, and the assessment of mechanical behavior of cemented carbides under compressive contact loads. Damage evolution in ironing tools is qualitatively investigated by planar and cross-sectional microscopical observations. Several mechanisms of damage are identified by taking into account the circumferential distribution along the surface of the ironing tools: coating wear and/ fracture, plastic deformation and fracture of the substrate. In the context of damage location in the substrate, the emphasis is put on the study of damage following all processing steps in substrate and coating preparation. This analysis aims at determining whether the substrate is weakened or not by the mechanical and chemical pre-treatment prior to coating. Spherical indentation testing is used as an experimental procedure to reproduce the compression stress state during cold forming. Large indenter tips (300 microns) are employed for testing cemented carbides in an effort to minimize the effects of material structural inhomogeneities. The behavior of cemented carbides under compressive loads is governed by the reversibility of deformation induced by indentation. A unique feature revealed by analysis of experimental load-displacement indentation curves is the positive energy balance, in that a gain of energy is evidenced after a loading-unloading cycle. Two hypotheses are developed for interpreting such a behavior: the strain induced martensitic transformation of the cobalt ductile phase and the thermal residual stresses in the composite. Substrate weakening subsequent to mechanical and chemical pretreatment prior to coating is expected to have a particular role on the indentation behavior of cemented carbides. The impact of substrate damage on the indentation parameters is identified by a parametric study using finite element simulations in which the damage is considered uniform. In reality, the damage distribution over the surface is rather irregular. In this context, a statistical approach is used for assessment of the material indentation parameters. The failure of coating/substrate systems under compressive contact loads is investigated by finite element simulations. The first failure events are identified by considering that system failure occurs either by substrate plastic deformation or coating fracture. The response of coated systems to spherical indentation is synthesized in damage diagrams which can predict whether the coating or the substrate fails first. The possibility for using such diagrams for assessing the evolution of damage in coated cemented carbide tools is highlighted.

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