Through-thickness cone cracking is one of major failures which needs to be considered in the safety calculations and assessment of containment structures in a nuclear power plant. In this paper, numerical study is performed on the through-thickness cone cracking of reinforced concrete slabs subjected to impact by flat-ended projectiles at normal incidence. First, a recently proposed 3D meso-mechanical model together with a recently developed computational concrete constitutive model are briefly described and then employed to study numerically the problem. The present numerical predictions are compared with some available experimental results. Furthermore, the 3D meso-mechanical model predictions are also compared with the numerical results obtained from FEM (finite element method) model. It transpires that the present numerical simulations are in good agreement with available experimental observations for the through-thickness cone cracking of reinforced concrete slabs struck normally by flat-nosed missiles. It also transpires that the 3D meso-mechanical model can predict more accurately than the FEM model in terms of the details of crack patterns though these two models produce similar results for relatively low velocities.

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