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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/conbuildmat

micromechanical modeling

Lutfur Akand a, Mijia Yang a,, Zhili Gao b

a

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA

b

Department of Construction Management and Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA

h i g h l i g h t s

Dependence and distribution of pore sizes, positions have been characterized.

Existence of representative volumetric elements is discussed.

Validation of the imaged based micromechanical analysis has been proved.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: Pervious concrete has been widely used in parking lots and airport fields. However, past experience has

Received 31 December 2015 shown durability and strength of the pervious concrete remains a challenge for adopting them in wider

Received in revised form 25 March 2016 applications, as the binding material proportion is low and the use of fine aggregates is nearly zero. When

Accepted 1 April 2016

loading in compression, the failure appears first in the weak concrete zone induced by the random dis-

tribution of voids. The process continues until the failure of the whole specimen occurs. Thus, the posi-

tion, size and shape distribution of voids in the pervious concrete microstructure control the overall

Keywords:

behavior of the material. In this work, the influence of the distribution of voids on the strength, stiffness,

Pervious concrete

Micromechanical modeling

and permeability of pervious concrete microstructure is studied by 2D image analysis and finite element

Pore distribution modeling. The position and size distribution of the microstructure voids are first summarized through

Strength Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) analysis. A finite element analysis is then conducted on the microstruc-

Stiffness ture models regenerated through the derived microstructure characteristics using ANSYS Parametric

Permeability Design Language (APDL). The effect of the sample size of 2D microstructures is studied by varying the sec-

tion size and a possible representative volume element (RVE) is therefore found. Predicted stress-strain

plots are generated for the 2D specimen under compressive load and the obtained results, including stiff-

ness, strength and permeability are compared with the results from the experiments conducted following

ASTM standards. The comparison between models and physical experiments showed around or above

90% accuracy, which validates the suggested micromechanical analysis method of the previous concrete

composite.

2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction overall pavement system [2,3]. In cold weather regions, this issue

is even more prominent due to the freeze-thaw cycles the pervious

Due to a high percentage of porosity (1025%), the 7-day com- concrete experienced. Researchers around the world have imple-

pressive strength of typical pervious concrete is around 1500 mented different mix designs and performed excessive experimen-

2000 psi (10.313.8 MPa) [1], which limits its application and long tal studies to find a sustainable pervious concrete mix [46].

term durability. Field investigations for pervious concrete pave- Attempts have been taken to introduce fiber to the pervious con-

ments have shown excessive crack generation and spalling of the crete, but due to lack of effective fiber-concrete interface bonding,

concrete surface, which eventually reduces the service life of the the strength improvement remained insignificant [7]. In order to

understand the mechanical behavior and enhance the long term

performance of pervious concrete, an image-based micromechani-

Corresponding author. cal model of the pervious concrete is suggested in this paper to

E-mail address: mijia.yang@ndsu.edu (M. Yang).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2016.04.005

0950-0618/ 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

548 L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555

enhance understanding of the relationship between microstruc- version 2.2. The reconstructed volume was then viewed and

ture and macro behavior of the material. manipulated using VGStudio Max 2.2 by Volume Graphics. 2D sec-

Jing Hu et al. discussed the nature of pore structure through tion was taken from two different specimens with a maximum size

backscattered electron (BSE) images of polished sections of cement of 94.0 68.6 mm (3.700 2.700 , batch 1) and 200 100 mm

paste material [8]. Pore size distribution was characterized and the (8.000 4.000 , batch 2) respectively. Several sections with a consis-

critical pore size was determined for the cement paste at different tent increment ratio in sizes are taken from the full image

hydration times. The influence of image resolution was also inves- (Fig. 1). These sections are then analyzed with the ImageJ soft-

tigated in the study. Wong et al. presented a technique to distin- ware platform developed by National Institute of Health (NIH)

guish pores from a normal backscattered electron image of [12].

cement-based material [9]. The study described a critical point The voids are first separated from the concrete matrix through a

where a small incremental gray value caused a sudden increase threshold gray value of the image (Fig. 2(b)). The voids are then

in porosity estimation, a condition termed as overflow. Lange outlined in the image showing their sizes and their positions in

et al. also explored the nature of pore structure through backscat- the matrix (Fig. 2(c)).

tered electron images of polished cement based material sections The position of each void has been located through the X and Y

[10]. Image analysis techniques used in this study included sizing, coordinate values of their centroid. The area of each void has been

two-point correlation, and fractal analyses. Pore size distribution tabulated and the void percentage is then calculated from the area

from Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) was compared to void data. The pore size distribution is first analyzed through Fast Four-

size distribution derived from backscattered electron images. Igar- ier Transformation (FFT) and the resultant distribution is then

ashi et al. compared the microstructure of cement pastes revealed transferred to MATLAB to regenerate the pervious concrete

by SEM-BSE image analysis with a simulated structure generated microstructure. Different regeneration represents a virtual sam-

by the CEMHYD3D hydration simulation model developed at pling of the pervious concrete matrix.

University of Twente [11]. The spatial array of unhydrated cement

particles was simulated by the model. However, spatial features in 2.2. Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT) of the void distribution

capillary pore structure obtained by the simulation were different

from the microstructure derived on SEM-BSE images. From the image analysis data, the relative position (X and Y

Pervious concrete collects pavement surface water and waste coordinates) of the voids for different section sizes was plotted

and filter them through its pore structures. Pervious concrete as histograms to describe any possible pattern of the distribution.

increases driver safety and enhance environment cleanness, which However, the plots showed that the distribution of voids through

has been widely used in airport, parking lots, etc. However due to the entire section of specimen does not follow any apparent pat-

its weak weariness and strength, pervious concrete shows low tern with the increment of section size (Fig. 3). In this study, a Fast

durability and could not be applied to applications with high load Fourier transformation (FFT) analysis is conducted on the void dis-

demand. Enhancement of the strength and stiffness of the pervious tribution obtained from the image analysis data and the dominant

concrete highly depends on the behavior of the microstructure. distribution frequencies are extracted.

Based on this, the goal of this study is to propose a quick and con- The method of adopting FFT analysis for void characterization is

venient tool to characterize the porous microstructures of pervious not totally new. Moulinec and Suquet [13] adopted this method in

concrete and predict its mechanical behavior through its characterizing the inhomogeneous distribution of porosity and

microstructure. The whole paper is divided into five sections. In studied its effect on the nonlinear behavior of a composite mate-

Section 1, position and size distribution of voids on the 2D electron rial. Nicolas Bilger et al. performed numerical simulations on dif-

microscopy image of the pervious concrete specimen are analyzed ferent spatial distributions of voids [14] generated through the

through SEM images. In Section 2, a micro-structure model regen- FFT derived distribution parameters. Three types of microstruc-

erated with the derived distribution parameters in Section 1. In tures were investigated: random microstructures with no void

Section 3, a FEM model is created to model the progressive failure clustering, microstructures with a connected cluster of voids, and

of the pervious concrete. In Section 4, the simulated results are microstructures with disconnected void clusters.

then compared with the lab experiments. A summary is provided Using the derived statistical distribution parameter of voids, the

in Section 5 to conclude the study and opens the door for further porous microstructure is regenerated through a MATLAB code and

application of the model to optimally design the pervious concrete. fed to ANSYS for further analysis. The FFT distribution of voids on

the actual image and the MATLAB generated microstructure is

compared to confirm the accuracy of the distribution (Fig. 4). A

2. Image analysis of pervious concrete specimen close match of the void size distribution is clearly seen in Fig. 4.

From Fig. 4, a major uniform distribution of void positions is

2.1. Image analysis through ImageJ observed, with a small clustering (around 5%) at locations of the

40% and 60% specimen dimension.

The void distribution inside the pervious concrete is captured

through electron microscope. The sample was attached to a

3. Micromechanical modeling of pervious concrete

100 mm square plastic petri dish using hot glue and placed into

a GE Phoenix X-ray computed tomography system (MicroCT)

An APDL code was written to cooperate the microstructure gen-

equipped with a 180 kV high power nanofocus X-ray tube. One

eration and load stress analysis in ANSYS.

thousand two hundred seventy-five projections of the sample were

acquired for each scan at a voltage of 140 kV and a current of

250 mA. Detector timing was set to 1000 ms and the total acquisi-

tion time was 1 h and 6 min per scan. The sample magnification

was 1.6 with a voxel size of 122.58 mm. For the larger sample

size, 400 diameter 800 height (u 100 mm 200 mm), the sample

was divided into three separate scans. The acquired images from

each scan were merged together and reconstructed into a volume

data set using GE datos|x 3D computer tomography software Fig. 1. Different section sizes from the same image.

L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555 549

Fig. 2. Void distribution by image analysis (a) microscopic image (b) voids separated from matrix (c) histogram of void size distribution.

of the pervious concrete is regenerated in MATLAB (Fig. 5). The

void percentage of the regenerated microstructure is kept equal

to the void percentage calculated from the actual image. Voids

are generated as circles and the number of circles generated in

the microstructure is equal to the number of voids in the actual

specimen. As a result, the regenerated microstructure contains

the same void percentage and number of voids as the original

microstructure (Fig. 6). The positions of the voids in the recon-

structed microstructure are different from the original one, but

they follow the same distribution throughout the entire matrix.

The reconstructed microstructure is then imported to ANSYS for

Fig. 3. Histogram showing percentage of pores in a certain location of the matrix

(1 in. = 25 mm).

load stress analysis through the written APDL code.

strength, stiffness and permeability of the concrete specimen were

simulated. To model the specimen in ANSYS, element type of

PLANE183 is used. This element type is defined by 8 nodes or 6-

nodes having two degrees of freedom at each node: translations

in the nodal x and y directions.

The material model of the concrete matrix in the concrete com-

posite is assumed to have a linear elastic and brittle failure behav-

ior. In order to verify the micromechanical modeling technique

suggested here, series of lab experiments were conducted to deter-

mine the actual concrete parameters and compared with the pre-

dicted concrete composite behavior. Thus, most of the concrete

parameters used in the model were based on the actual experi-

mental values, with some other conventional parameters deter-

Fig. 4. Comparison between FFT of void distribution generated from the actual mined through literatures. The ANSYS analysis procedure steps

image and the microstructure created in MATLAB. are described in the flow chart of Fig 7.

550 L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555

Fig. 6. (a) Void geometry and position in MATLAB using the ImageJ analysis data (matrix size of 3.34 in 2.83 in, 1 in = 25 mm), (b) porous concrete geometry created in

ANSYS.

Fig. 7. Flow Chart for ANSYS analysis of failure in microstructure modeling of pervious concrete.

3.3. Permeability study of pervious concrete in ANSYS where K = permeability of the sample, l = viscosity of the fluid,

rP = pressure gradient, U is the fluid flow rate.

Permeability is the measure of distance per unit time that a The microstructure of porous concrete is generated through

fluid can pass through a media, which depends on the porosity of MATLAB and then analyzed using the FLOTRAN CFD feature of

the media, viscosity of fluid, and applied pressure gradient. If the ANSYS. The boundary conditions were applied in such a way that

fluid velocity is sufficiently low, such as gravity driven flow, flow only happened along the pressure gradient direction, but

Darcys Law can be adopted to characterize the permeability. not through the sideways. Uniform pressure was applied at one

end (the inlet) and the velocity was measured from the opposite

lU

K 1 end (the outlet). The pore boundaries were kept as free. The

rP

L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555 551

specimen is then calculated using Darcys equation.

void percentage and concrete matrix. In order to simulate the con-

crete matrix accurately, two repeated compression tests were con-

ducted on the pure concrete specimen. The concrete mix ratio used

is cement: sand: coarse aggregate of 1:2:4, with a w/c ratio of 0.33.

The experiment is conducted using the 97,860 kN (22.0 kips)

Instron tri-axial load frame with a displacement control rate of

2 mm/min. The mechanical properties of the concrete matrix deter-

mined through the experiment are shown in Table 1 and Fig 8.

Fig. 8. Load-deflection behavior of pure concrete specimen.

The ultimate strain of the plane concrete specimen was calcu-

lated from the Load-deflection curve generated by the compressive

strength testing equipment. The maximum displacement, after

w1 w1

Vr 1 100% 2

which the specimen completely fails to take any further load, was qw v ol

taken and the ultimate strain of 0.0018 mm/mm was obtained. From

the load-deflection graph, the material failure strain was taken at the where Vr is the total void ratio (%), W1 is the weight under water, W2

first prominent load drop and calculated as 0.00075 mm/mm, which is the oven dry weight, Vol is the volume of the sample, and qw is

will be used for further validation purposes. the density of water.

Permeability of the concrete samples was determined using the

Portland Cement pervious concrete of three different mix ratios falling head permeability test apparatus. A sample was confined in

(Table 2) were tested for obtaining a clear idea on permeability, a membrane and sealed by petroleum gel to ensure no water

void ratio, and the 7 days compressive strength of pervious con- passes through sideways. Three different water heights were

crete. Three samples for each mix ratio were made and tested applied to the sample, and the time for the water to drain out of

accordingly. But only the results from the mix with water/cement the sample was then recorded. For each water height, the perme-

ratio of 0.33 are used for comparison. ability coefficient (K) was determined using Eq. (3). The average

value resulting from the different water heights will be defined

as the permeability coefficient of the sample.

4.1. Materials used and specimen preparation

aL h1

The pervious cement concrete is made of Portland Cement type

K ln 3

At h2

I, river gravel (#4 or less than 3/800 (9.5 mm)), and river sand. The

cement to coarse aggregate ratio is maintained as 1:4 and a small where K is the coefficient of permeability, a is the cross sectional

amount of sand (around 4% of the total volume) is added with the area of the water inlet pipe, L is the length of sample, A is the cross

mix. sectional area of specimen, t is the time in seconds from h1 to h2, h1

400 800 (u 100 mm 200 mm) cylinders were used for com- is the initial water level, and h2 is the final water level.

pression strength tests. 300 600 (u 75 mm 150 mm) cylinders

were used to perform the void ratio and permeability tests. Three 4.2.3. Compressive strength test

samples were used for each test. The mixing process is conducted Three samples for each mix ratio were tested with the Instron

as following: first, a small amount of cement was mixed with compression strength testing machine and the strength values

aggregate for about 1 min; second, the remaining cement & water were directly recorded from the test setup. Based on the supplied

(with or without admixture) was added to the mixture; the mix- specimen size and deformation limit, the Youngs modulus, the

ture was then mixed for three minutes, rested for three minutes, maximum compressive stress, and the load-deformation curve

and then mixed for another two minutes before casting. All speci- can be obtained from the test machine (Fig. 9).

mens were placed by rodding 25 times in three layers along with

compaction using a standard compaction hammer for five times 5. Results and discussion

after rodding each layer. The samples were de-molded after 24 h

and cured in water. 5.1. Effect of gray threshold on Image analysis of microstructure of

pervious concrete

4.2. Experiment validation plan

Void distribution data is extracted through the gray threshold

4.2.1. Void ratio test value of the image. It is reasonable to find out that higher porosity

The void content of the concrete samples were determined by was resulted when the gray threshold is increased. Based on the

taking the difference in weight between a sample oven dry and void size and position distribution of images with different gray

under water through the following Equation. threshold value, the microstructure of pervious concrete was

Table 1

Properties of the concrete matrix.

Material Youngs Modulus, Poissons Ultimate strain under compression (material Ultimate strain under compression (total Ultimate strain under tension

E (GPa) ratio, m failure) (mm/mm) failure) (mm/mm) (mm/mm)

Concrete 17.0 0.1 0.00075 0.0018 0.00015

552 L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555

Table 2

Mix ratio used for the Portland cement pervious concrete.

Mix Aggregate type Aggregate size Cement (kg/m3) Aggregate (kg/m3) Sand (kg/m3) Water (kg/m3) Water/cement ratio

1 River Gravel #4 357 1428 104.8 96.4 0.27

2 River Gravel #4 371 1484 104.8 111.3 0.3

3 River Gravel #4 383.5 1534 104.8 126.6 0.33

Fig. 9. Compressive strength testing setup (a) Before loading, (b) Control panel and data acquisition system, (c) after failure.

and stiffness for each section was calculated. Both the nominal

strength and stiffness of the specimen decrease with the increment

of the threshold value (Figs. 10 and 11).

Lab experiment results of void ratio test show that the void per-

centage in a pervious concrete specimen ranges from 15 to 18%,

which could be obtained in the regenerated microstructure for

gray threshold value ranging from 40 to 75. Thus, for the rest of

the study, the threshold value is taken as 60 (Fig. 12).

5.2. Correlation between X and Y coordinate of void position Fig. 11. Nominal Strength .vs. Gray Threshold (1.0 ksi = 6.9 MPa).

dependency between the X and Y coordinates of the voids in the

microstructure image. The X and Y coordinates of each void is tab-

ulated for different section sizes and the correlation coefficients are

calculated to determine the possible dependency between them.

The study shows the correlation coefficients are much below

unity, which indicates no dependency between X and Y coordi-

nates of the voids (Fig. 13).

a possible representative volume element. As the size of the sec-

tion is increased, the distribution of voids keeps changing. The

Fig. 12. Change in void percentage with increased threshold value.

sum-square error of relative void positions between two sections

shows that void distribution eventually reaches a convergent con-

stant level with increasing of section sizes (Fig. 14). At this level,

the size of representative volume element is reached.

Fig. 10. Youngs Modulus .vs. Gray Threshold (1.0 ksi = 6.9 MPa). Fig. 13. Correlation coefficient .vs. area of the section (1 in2 = 654 mm2).

L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555 553

Fig. 16. Strength .vs. size of the model section (1 in2 = 654.2 mm2,

Fig. 14. Sum square error of the void distribution .vs. the section area 1.0 ksi = 6.9 MPa).

(1 in2 = 654.2 mm2).

From Fig. 14, for both batch 1 & 2, the square error of void dis- cussed in Section 5.4. From Fig 17, a decreasing trend is observed

tribution between two sections keep reducing and becomes small and converged at 9677 mm2 (15.0 in2) if 0.3% relative difference

enough at a section size around 9677 mm2 (15 in2). is defined as the convergence criterion.

microstructure 5.6. Effect of different failure criteria on the predicted strength and

stiffness of pervious concrete

A uniaxial compression simulation is conducted for the gener-

ated microstructure model with a displacement controlled bound- Failure criteria or modes will affect the prediction of behaviors

ary condition. The thickness of the section is taken as unity. of pervious concrete. Three different failure criteria, the maximum

The boundary condition was chosen as a roller support at the strain, the maximum stress, and the Von-mises strain failure crite-

bottom surface, and fixed at the middle point of that surface. Dis- ria, are used to evaluate the difference between them.

placement stroke was applied to the top surface and the other two The predicted load-deflection plots for the three failure criteria

sides were kept as free. The applied displacement deforms the are shown in Fig. 18. For the 2D microstructure geometry adopted

model, initiates failure and cracks in the concrete matrix here, the difference between the maximum strain and Von-mises

(Fig. 15). Maximum strain failure criterion is currently selected maximum strain failure criteria is negligible (<5%). For maximum

for this case. stress and the maximum strain failure criteria, there is no differ-

From the model output, the force along the line of applied dis- ence since both of them are equivalent uniaxial brittle failure

placement was obtained and the total force was then used to cal- criteria.

culate the strength of the matrix. The change of compression

with sizes of sections is shown in Fig. 16. As expected, the pre-

5.7. Comparison of the modeling and experimental results

dicted strength is reduced as the size of section increases. Please

note batch 1 and batch 2 have different scanned sizes. The maxi-

In order to prove the suggested micromechanical model as a

mum section size could be taken from batch 1 is around 10.0 in2,

good approach to predict and optimize pervious concrete, the

which is about half of the scanned size of batch 2.

stress-strain plot predicted through the micromechanical model

is compared with the experimental stress-strain plot. The model

5.5. Relationship between stiffness of pervious concrete and void is based on the maximum strain criterion and the simulation was

microstructure executed for three different void distributions. The averages of

the three stress-strain values are plotted in Fig. 19 and compared

The stiffness of the pervious concrete matrix is also calculated. with the experiment results from 2 samples of the pervious con-

Three simulations for each section are performed and the average crete mix relatively well.

Fig. 15. (a) Concrete matrix after failure, (b) Von Mises strain in the concrete matrix.

554 L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555

Table 3

Comparison of the stiffness and compression strength between experiments and

modeling (1.0 ksi = 6.9 MPa).

Experiment 28.88 ksi 1.047 ksi

29.98 ksi 1.053 ksi

29.94 ksi 1.050 ksi

Mean = 29.60 ksi Mean = 1.05 ksi

Standard deviation = 0.624 Standard deviation = 0.003

Model 33.07 ksi 1.19 ksi

32.90 ksi 1.24 ksi

33.78 ksi 1.23 ksi

Mean = 33.25 ksi Mean = 1.22 ksi

Standard deviation = 0.467 Standard deviation = 0.026

Fig. 17. Youngs Modulus .vs. section area (1 in2 = 654.2 mm2, 1.0 ksi = 6.9 MPa).

Fig. 20. Porosity .vs. permeability predicted from the micromechanical model

(1 in = 25.4 mm).

idation stage and the saw-cut variations of stress after initial fail-

ure. However, these phenomena are ignored in the model.

Fig. 19. Comparison of stress-strain plot from model and experiments. The permeability and porosity relationship from the model is

shown in Fig. 20. Based on the relationship obtained from the

model, the porosity is predicted using the permeability results

In Fig. 19, sec 14 stands for the predicted stress strain curve of derived from the laboratory experiments. Fig. 21 shows the corre-

the different section sizes taken from the mother image from small lation between predicted and measured porosity.

to big. Exp1, exp2, and exp3 are the stress-strain curves of three The predicted porosity from the ANSYS model and the mea-

physical tests conducted for the pervious concrete mix. A consis- sured porosity through experiments are consistent from Fig. 21,

tent trend of degraded strength with section sizes is observed. which also verifies the suggested micromechanical model.

Strength of the specimen under compressive load was defined The model and experimental permeability values are also com-

when the specimen failed to take more load. The comparison pared and the comparison is shown in Table 4. The permeability

between model and experimental results are tabulated in Table 3. values obtained from experiments and the ANSYS model shows

The experimental and model stress-strain plot shows close close proximity (error <8%) with each other.

proximity, even though the stress-strain curves captured by model In summary, the image based micromechanical modeling could

do not match exactly to that of the experimental failure pattern. In be used to predict pervious concrete properties after careful cali-

reality, the microstructure has the chance to be condensed and be bration of the gray threshold and representative section size. The

reorganized when failure starts to occur, which leads to initial derived stiffness, strength, and permeability are highly close to

small stiffness and regain some strength back when failure starts. the physical testing values.

L. Akand et al. / Construction and Building Materials 114 (2016) 547555 555

Table 4

Comparison of the permeability values between modeling and experiments (1 in = 25.4 mm).

Void ratio (%) Permeability from ANSYS model (in/hr) Permeability from lab experiment (in/hr) Error (%)

Sample 1 1st repeat 20.28 334.49 360.00 7.08

2nd repeat 21.30 353.56 349.56 1.14

3rd repeat 20.54 341.22 361.80 5.69

Mean = 20.71 Mean = 343.09 Mean = 357.12 Mean = 4.64

Standard deviation = 0.53 Standard deviation = 9.67 Standard deviation = 6.61 Standard deviation = 3.11

Sample 2 1st repeat 19.60 322.66 347.76 7.23

2nd repeat 20.67 349.63 333.36 4.88

3rd repeat 21.68 360.66 388.80 7.24

Mean = 20.65 Mean = 344.32 Mean = 356.64 Mean = 6.45

Standard deviation = 1.04 Standard deviation = 19.55 Standard deviation = 28.77 Standard deviation = 1.36

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A Joint Research Program of FDOT, Rinker Materials and FDEP, 2007.

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