Strain rate-dependent compressive behavior and failure mechanism of cementitious syntactic foams

Halim Kerim Bas, Weihua Jin, Nikhil Gupta, Dung D. Luong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present work was focused on studying the strain rate sensitivity of cementitious syntactic foams (CSF), which are particulate composites reinforced with hollow glass microspheres (HMG). Different density CSFs (1.31–1.74 g/cm3) with different volume fractions (20–40%) of HGMs were tested with a split-Hopkinson pressure bar setup. The true particle densities of the HGMs were in the range of 0.38–0.60 g/cm3. In addition, the macro- and micro-scale failure mechanisms were investigated with high-speed camera imaging, micro-CT scanning, and electron microscopy. The results showed that both the CSFs and the baseline material (control sample), which is the cement paste matrix of the CSFs, showed strain rate sensitivity in mechanical properties in the 102–103 s−1 strain rate range. CSFs had relatively lower strain rate sensitivity in comparison to the matrix material. In the same range of strain rate, both the CSFs and the control sample showed significant changes in their macro and micro failure mechanisms depending on their age, composition and loading rate. The level of damage at the peak load for the high strain rate was higher in comparison to the same materials tested under quasi-static loading conditions for CSFs and the cement matrix.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-80
Number of pages11
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Cement
  • High strain rate
  • Hollow glass microsphere
  • Micro-CT analysis
  • Syntactic foam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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