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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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Microstructure-fracture-permeability relations in cemented granular materials

Rafik Affes has defended his thesis on 6th December 2012 in Montpellier.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DPAM/SEMCA/LEC

Authors > AFFES Rafik

Publication Date > 06/12/2012

Summary

In this work, we investigate the relationships between the microstructure of cemented granular materials, morphology of cracks that may appear under tensile loading and their apparent permeability. In order to simulate the complexity of the multiphase heterogeneous structure of these materials, a numerical approach based on a lattice discretization was developed and used to study the mechanisms that control their behavior and rupture. Three distinct regimes of crack propagation were evidenced in terms of the combined influence of the matrix volume fraction and particle/matrix adherence. In the context of nuclear safety and in view of analyzing cracked concrete tightness, a methodology is proposed for generating representative microstructures with controlled phase volume fractions and particle size distributions. The cracks obtained under tensile loading are analyzed and a relationship is obtained between the microstructure of concrete and the tortuosity of the cracks. The permeability of cracked numerical microstructures was obtained by the simulation of liquid flow through the cracks by means of the Lattice Boltzmann method. Finally, a microstructure-tortuosity-permeability relation is proposed. The modeling and analysis tools developed in this work are generic enough to be applied to other complex multiphase heterogeneous materials


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