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Modelling of Capillary Pressure-driven Water Flow in Unsaturated Concrete Using Coupled DEM/CFD Approach

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Multiscale Processes of Instability, Deformation and Fracturing in Geomaterials (IWBDG 2022)

Abstract

A novel coupled approach to modelling capillary-driven two-phase water flow in unsaturated concrete was formulated. By merging the discrete element method (DEM) with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) under isothermal settings, the process was numerically studied at the me-so-scale in two-dimensional conditions. Small concrete specimens of a simplified particle meso-structure were subjected to fully coupled hydro-mechanical simulation tests in isothermal conditions. A simple uniaxial compression test was used to calibrate the pure DEM represented by bonded spheres, while permeability and sorptivity tests for an assembly of bonded spheres were used to calibrate the pure CFD. For simplified specimens of the pure mortar, mortar with aggregate, and mortar with aggregate and interfacial transition zone (ITZ) of a given thickness, DEM/CFD simulations were performed sequentially. The numerical results of permeability and sorptivity were compared to the data found in the literature. The primary purpose of the re-search was to demonstrate the impact of ITZ on fluid flow in unsaturated concrete caused by capillary pressure.

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Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by the research project “Fracture propagation in rocks during hydro-fracking—experiments and discrete element method coupled with fluid flow and heat transport” (years 2019–2022) financed by the National Science Centre (NCN) (UMO-2018/29/B/ST8/00255).

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Correspondence to Marek Krzaczek .

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Krzaczek, M., Nitka, M., Tejchman, J. (2023). Modelling of Capillary Pressure-driven Water Flow in Unsaturated Concrete Using Coupled DEM/CFD Approach. In: Pasternak, E., Dyskin, A. (eds) Multiscale Processes of Instability, Deformation and Fracturing in Geomaterials. IWBDG 2022. Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-22213-9_23

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-22213-9_23

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-031-22212-2

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-031-22213-9

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