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Variational modeling of hydromechanical fracture in saturated porous media: A micromechanics-based phase-field approach

Ulloa, Jacinto and Noii, Nima and Alessi, Roberto and Aldakheel, Fadi and Degrande, Geert and François, Stijn (2022) Variational modeling of hydromechanical fracture in saturated porous media: A micromechanics-based phase-field approach. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, 396 . Art. No. 115084. ISSN 0045-7825. doi:10.1016/j.cma.2022.115084.

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This paper presents a novel variational phase-field model for different fracture processes in fully saturated porous media. As a key feature, the model employs a micromechanics-based theory for the description of brittle-tensile and compressive–ductile fracture. As such, the field variables are linked to physical mechanisms at the microcrack level, with damage emerging as the consequence of microcrack growth. Similarly, plasticity emerges as a consequence of the frictional sliding of closed microcracks. In this way, the evolution of opening microcracks in tension leads to (mode I) brittle fracture, while the evolution of closed microcracks in compression/shear leads to (mode II) ductile fracture. These failure mechanisms are coupled to fluid flow, resulting in a Darcy–Biot–type hydromechanical model. Therein, in the tensile regime, plasticity naturally vanishes, while damage is driven by poroelastic energy, accounting for the pressure in fluid-filled opening microcracks. On the other hand, in the compressive/shear regime, the plastic driving force naturally follows as a Terzaghi-type effective stress in terms of the local stress field acting on the microcrack surfaces, while damage is solely driven by the frictionally blocked free energy. As another important feature, the model includes a non-associative frictional plasticity law. Nevertheless, a thermodynamically consistent variational framework is employed, for which different energetic principles are discussed. Finally, the numerical simulations show that the model captures relevant hydromechanical coupling effects in benchmark problems, including mechanically induced shear fracture and hydraulically induced tensile fracture.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Ulloa, Jacinto0000-0001-7616-5408
Alessi, Roberto0000-0003-2800-1745
Aldakheel, Fadi0000-0003-4074-4576
Degrande, Geert0000-0002-1763-4144
François, Stijn0000-0002-3877-9748
Additional Information:© 2022 Elsevier. Received 5 November 2021, Revised 26 April 2022, Accepted 27 April 2022, Available online 21 May 2022, Version of Record 21 May 2022. F. Aldakheel and N. Noii were funded by the Priority Program DFG-SPP 2020 (project number: 353757395). The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)SPP 2020 - 353757395
Subject Keywords:Phase-field models; Micromechanics; Hydraulic fracture; Porous media; Variational formulation; Non-associative plasticity
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220523-165166000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jacinto Ulloa, Nima Noii, Roberto Alessi, Fadi Aldakheel, Geert Degrande, Stijn François, Variational modeling of hydromechanical fracture in saturated porous media: A micromechanics-based phase-field approach, Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Volume 396, 2022, 115084, ISSN 0045-7825,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114882
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:23 May 2022 20:53
Last Modified:23 May 2022 20:53

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