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Study of delayed strains for concrete in compression and in tension from early age to long term

Adrien Hilaire has defended his thesis on 28th November 2014 in Cachan.​

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/PSN-EXP/SES/BEGC

Authors > HILAIRE Adrien

Publication Date > 28/11/2014

Summary

​This work aims to study the behaviour of the containment buildings in a nuclear power plant. The gas-proofing of these structures is based on the low conductivity of concrete (the hydraulic conductivity is around 10-11 m/s for a standard concrete). However, if cracks appear, this material property increases and the containment may not be longer guaranteed. In accidental situations, the concrete is protected from cracking by the bi-axial prestressing of the internal safety enclosure. The ageing of the structure may have two main consequences : firstly, the prestress has to remain sufficiently high to counterbalance the tensile stress caused by an accident, secondly, cracking induced by non-accidental loads has to be limited. These aims cannot be satisfied if the behaviour of the concrete is not understood from its manufacturing to the end of the operating life of the nuclear reactor.\\ The lifespan of the structure is broken down into two distinguished periods : on one hand, strong chemo-thermo-mechanical couplings characterise the early age phase, on the other hand, the material is under hydro-mechanical stress during the long term phase. In the proposed modelling, hydration, thermal and hydric transfers are coupled with the mechanical behaviour of the concrete- the main mechanisms are considered. The model is implemented in the software \textit{CAST3M} : the limited number of parameters facilitate the identification process. In tandem with this work, several experimental tests are realised. Parameters are identified from their results, moreover, some of the experimental observations confirmed the physical mechanisms considered in the model. \\ Because of the complexity of the different phenomenon, this document is built around the following principles. The first part deals with the chemo-thermal couplings at early age and the drying process of concrete at long term : the nature of these two problems is diffusive. This part is focused on the identification of the main parameters of these two phenomenons. The second part is about the delayed strains in concrete. Unlike the conventional decomposition of these strains, creep and shrinkage are correlated and influence the damage evolution. Mechanics of unsaturated porous media is used to consider the couplings between these strains. The last part is focused on the delayed behaviour of structures. Results highlight the importance of some technological barriers in order to predict accurately the long-term behaviour of a containment building.
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