Complementary Data File and Results from <i>In situ</i> observation of fracture processes in high-strength concretes and limestone using high-speed X-ray phase-contrast imaging

Mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms of geomaterials and construction materials such as concrete are reported to be dependent on the loading rates. However, the <i>in situ</i> cracking inside such specimens cannot be visualized using traditional optical imaging methods since the materials are opaque. In this study, the <i>in situ</i> sub-surface failure/damage mechanisms in cor-tuf (a reactive powder concrete), a high-strength concrete (HSC) and Indiana limestone under dynamic loading were investigated using high-speed synchrotron X-ray phase-contrast imaging. Dynamic compressive loading was applied using a modified Kolsky bar and fracture images were recorded using a synchronized high-speed synchrotron X-ray imaging set-up. Three-dimensional synchrotron X-ray tomography was also performed to record the microstructure of the specimens before dynamic loading. In cor-tuf and HSC specimens, two different modes of cracking were observed: straight cracking or angular cracking with respect to the direction of loading. In limestone, cracks followed the grain boundaries and voids ultimately fracturing the specimen. Cracks in HSC were more tortuous than the cracks in cor-tuf specimens. The effects of the microstructure on the observed cracking behaviour are discussed.