A material will initially deform elastically, but once it has surpassed its yield strength, it will deform plastically. For materials such as steel, which give a ductile failure response, the compressive and tensile yield strength are roughly equal.
Concrete however will fail at very low tensile stresses, the compressive strength far exceeds the tensile capacity.
The reasons for concrete’s considerable compressive strength compared to its tensile strength are:
When designing for the ultimate limit state, the element is considered to fail at its yield stress. Hence, yield strengths often carry large safety factors in design.
A material visibly breaks at the ultimate tensile strength.