Prof. Dr. habil.
Rostislav Chudoba
Mies-van-der-Rohe-Str. 1
Raum 614
52074 Aachen

Tel.: +49 (0)241 80-28575
Fax: +49 (0)241 80-22335


Mi. 16:30 - 18:00 Uhr
S12 (1385|212)

Mi. 15:15 - 16:00 Uhr
S12 (1385|212)

Beginn: 02.04.2019


Brittle-Matrix Composites denote a wide range of modern composite materials combining cementitous matrices (i.e. concrete) with tensile reinforcement materials (e.g. steel, carbon, glass, basalt) in wide variety of geometrical layouts , including bars, mats, fabrics or randomly distributed, short fibers. Elementary mechanism governing the behavior of this class of composites is the interplay of matrix cracking and debonding. The course illuminates this key degradation mechanism, shared across all types of brittle-matrix composites, with the help of interactive WebApps at RWTH JupyterHub in combination with experimental results. Based on these observations, most common approaches to modeling of concrete cracking and debonding are explained using examples of standardized test setups, i.e. pull-out test, tensile test, bending test.

The gained insight into the correspondence between the material- and structural behavior will facilitate the orientation in the rapidly growing field of novel cementitious composites. At the same time, commonalities and differences with respect to the traditional steel-reinforced concrete will be explained using the presented methods. A survey and classification of existing modeling approaches will be provided, including the presentation of their limitations and possibilities of their improvement. Students will learn how to find solution strategies spanning the tasks of structural design, safety assessment, numerical analysis and experimental material characterization.

Particularly addressed questions will include


  • Classification of structural components based on their composition - matrix / reinforcement (bar, grid, random short fibers)
  • Modeling strategies for the development of brittle-matrix composites (BMC)
Elementary damage and load bearing mechanisms
  • Bond between reinforcement and concrete matrix, experimental and modeling methods
  • Tensile behavior: strain hardening, sources of ductility, experimental characterization, modeling approaches
  • Matrix cracking: experimental observations, stable and unstable crack propagation, numerical and analytical modeling approaches
  • Bending behavior: crack propagation, load-deflection, combined normal and bending load, construction of failure envelopes for general cross sectional layouts
Digital support
  • Interactive WebApps hosted at RWTH JupyterHub: https://jupyter.rwth-aachen.de/hub/spawn?profile=bmcs exploiting the open-source ecosystem of Python Packages (numpy, scipy, sympy).
  • As a byproduct, interested students can get seamlessly acquainted with modern methods of quickprototyping of analytical and numerical models in open-source scientific-computing environment.
  • Lectures and seminars are be combined with pre-recorded videos attached to the lecture notebooks in the BMCS Jupyter platform
  • Seminar work will be elaborated in the form of a summary and review of a scientific paper focused on the experimental and numerical characterization of bond or cracking behavior.
  • Book of exercises will be provided on-the-fly with examples of questions and tasks relevant for the final exam.