electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
Innovative particle-reinforced materials made of alumina particles and cement-based matrix were designed, manufactured and tested to evaluate the potential use of ceramic aggregates in concretes. These particle-reinforced composites were tested in three-point bending and uniaxial compression conditions to determine the influence of the shape and size of the ceramic inclusions, and the addition of silica fume on the mechanical properties. A specific methodology combining post-mortem observations with a statistical analysis of tensile failure stresses (average strength and Weibull modulus) was conducted to deduce the origin of failure for each cement-based composite (porosity or ceramic particles/matrix decohesion). A remarkable correlation is observed between bending failure stress level and the average strength measured under uniaxial compression loading. As main conclusion, addition of alumina particles in a mortar appears to strengthen or to weaken the composite depending on whether silica fume is used in the cementitious matrix.