AbstractThe progressive damage monitoring and fracture evaluation of plain concrete beam specimens subjected to three-point bending (TPB) are reported in this paper. The objective of the present research is to systematically correlate the fracture behavior of a concrete beam with acoustic emission (AE) data recorded during the present set of experiments. The damage growth and failure mechanisms of the beam specimens are investigated with AE parametric analysis, b-value analysis, and digital image correlation method. Eventually, a reasonable correlation between AE energy and the released fracture energy is established at various stages of loading, which is confirmed with the set of TPB beam experiments and further validated with nonlinear numerical finite-element analysis. The energy released during the cracking processes at different loading stages in the experiment is quantified and systematically analyzed. Acoustic and fracture energies are dependent on active concrete cracking, and their correlation is helpful in determining the extent of damage in the concrete structures. Such a relationship can be used as an operational tool for structural health monitoring of structures as an early warning system supplemented with numerical analysis, a well-calibrated laboratory, and in situ AE experiments.