Advances in Discrete Lattice Modeling of Cemented Geomaterials - Evolution and Application

In Geo-Engineering applications, understanding the geomaterial's behavior under coupled therm-hydro-mechanical (THM) processes is imperative. The change of geomaterial's THM properties subjected to the coupled processes can lead to a decrease in the efficiency of the designed Geo-Systems (e.g. rock barriers), failure of the Geo-Structures, or even contamination of the environment. In this contribution, the in-house developed discrete lattice method is applied to simulate the geomaterial's behavior under coupled THM processes.

The Lattice Element Method (LEM) is able to simulate a stochastic frack initiation and propagation in brittle or quasi-brittle materials, where small deformations are expected. The developed Thermo-Mechanical lattice model is able to simulate the transient heat flux as well as the change in the effective thermal conductivity in heterogeneous domains under the coupled processes. With the implementation of the dual-lattice network, the Hydro-Mechanical lattice is considered to model the change of permeability and pressure-driven fluid percolation in discountinuum bodies. The dynamic lattice model is presented to investigate wavefield scattering in discontinuous and heterogeneous geomaterials.

The validation of the numerical results is carried out by comparing the lattice results with the analytical solutions and the experimental data. The theoretical developments presented in the field of Multiphysics are extended into practical applications, where the failure of reinforced masonry walls and the integrity of barrier rocks are studied. The LEM has been demonstrated to be an effective means of modeling and analyzing alterations in material behavior, even in complex anisotropic and heterogeneous geomaterials.




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