Published January 19, 2022 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Numerical Modelling of The Quasi-Brittle Behaviour of Refractory Ceramics by Considering Microcracks Effect

  • 1. IRCER Laboratory
  • 2. ITASCA Consultants S.A.S.,
  • 3. PPRIME Institute


In the steelmaking industry, the inner lining of ladles is made of refractory ceramics, which
are constantly subjected to thermal shocks during their service. Experimentally, it is observed
that pre-existing microcracks could significantly increase the thermal shock resistance of these
ceramics. The presence of such microcracks network within the refractory microstructure could
lead to a non-linear quasi-brittle mechanical behaviour.
To model this quasi-brittle behaviour, a suitable numerical approach is the Discrete Element
Method (DEM), which can circumvent the limitations of more conventional continuum
approaches in capturing microstructural effects required to simulate multi-fracture propagation.
Here, it is aimed to simulate such quasi-brittle behaviour by initial well-distributed damages,
with a strength dispersion following a Weibull distribution. In this way, the microcracks effect
on the quasi-brittle behaviour of a numerical sample under uniaxial and cyclic tensile tests is
investigated. Ultimately, a quantitative DEM model to simulate such a complex behaviour is


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ATHOR – Advanced THermomechanical mOdelling of Refractory linings 764987
European Commission