Materiales de Construcción, Vol 61, No 303 (2011)

The fatigue process of concrete and its structural influence

Carlos Zanuy
E.T.S. Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Luis Albajar
E.T.S. Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

Pablo de la Fuente
E.T.S. Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain


Fatigue of concrete is a microcracking process leading to the change of the macroscopic material properties. In particular, progressive stiffness decrease and increase of total and residual strains are developed as a function of the number of cycles and the stress level. The influence of the fatigue process on the behaviour of structural members is complex, because a cyclic redistribution of stresses develops within the structure. Owing to this fact, the employ of S-N curves to estimate the fatigue life usually leads to extremely conservative results. In this paper, a fatigue model for concrete is presented accounting for the evolution of the material properties. The model is able to obtain the fatigue life and the evolution of stresses and strains. The results are compared with other available design rules and a modification is proposed to estimate the number of cycles to failure in a simple way for the engineering practice.


Concrete; Fatigue; Mechanical properties; Microcracking; Damage

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