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Fracture in concrete

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This is a curiosity question for any concrete guru with a few minutes to 
kill. . I don't do structural concrete and I'm enough ignorant on the 
topic so I still use 'pour' for 'place' and 'cement mixer' for 'concrete 
hauler.' 

There are inquiries from time to time on a FEA list I frequent from 
people looking to do cracked sections with FEA, and I got curious whether 
these guys are just student newbies in a FEA course or whether there's 
active research in fracture mechanics of concrete.

What's the current practice on figuring the strength and ultimate 
capacity of cracked beams?

 Is fracture mechanics used? (I was taught to use the uncracked section 
in my only exposure to design in concrete, but that doesn't square with 
what I know (a fair amount) about fracture propagation and critical crack 
length.)

Is reinforcing considered to arrest cracks? (Pretensioning probably will, 
but what happens to cracks in non pretensioned structures.)

How is fatigue cracking or propagation of shrinkage cracks considered?

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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