WIT Press

A New Drop Weight Impact Machine For Studying The Fracture Behaviour Of Structural Concrete


Free (open access)





Page Range

251 - 259




393 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


X. X. Zhang, G. Ruiz & R. C. Yu


This paper describes the main characteristics of a new drop weight impact machine that has been specifically designed for studying the dynamic mechanical behaviour of structural concrete samples. Such equipment has been used to generate simple and measurable fracture processes under moderate to fast loading rates, as opposed to blast chambers, which produce complicated crack patterns that are difficult to analyze. The machine consists of two main parts, the mechanical structure and the data acquisition system. The former is just a hammer, guided by two robust columns, which can impact the specimen with energy up to 7860 J. The latter consists of piezoelectric force sensors, accelerometers and an optical fibre photoelectric sensor plus oscilloscopes and signal conditioners. The paper also presents the results of some preliminary tests that show the sensitivity of the work of fracture to the loading rate. Keywords: drop weight impact machine, concrete, work of fracture. 1 Introduction The response of concrete to dynamic loading is of interest in a variety of civilian and military applications. For example, the protective shells of nuclear power plants are expected to survive the impact loading of an incoming missile or other sources; airport runways must withstand repeated dynamic loads due to aircraft take off and landing; dynamic loading on concrete structures or buildings arising from natural hazards (such as tornadoes, earthquakes and ocean waves) and


drop weight impact machine, concrete, work of fracture.