Preface: Computational Poromechanics

Sun, WaiChing

This special issue of the International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering is dedicated to the field of computational poromechanics. We refer to the term poromechanics as a discipline that studies the coupled responses of multiphase materials that contain voids filled with one or multiple types of fluids. Materials fitting this description include many geological materials (e.g., sand, clay, and rock), live matters (e.g., bones, skins, periodontal ligament), and manufactured materials (e.g., concrete, diaper cores, and polymeric gels), among others. Inside a porous medium, the fluids in the voids may either be trapped inside the isolated pores or they may diffuse in the connected pore space. The multiple fluid constituents may also trigger chemical reactions among themselves or with the solid constituents. As a result, the deformation of the solid skeleton and the diffusion of the pore fluid are processes that strongly in- fluence each other. This coupling effect is important for many engineering applications central to our daily lives. For instance, the buildup of the pore fluid pressure may lead to the fracture of the solid constituent, which in return allows hydro-carbon to be extracted, as in the case of hydraulic fracture. If an enormous amount of fluid is injected underground, the resultant pore pressure buildup may also reactivate previously stable faults due to the reduction of effective mean pressure. Meanwhile, the hydro-mechanical coupling effect has also been used to characterize hydraulic properties that are difficult to obtain otherwise. For instance, one may indirectly estimate the effective permeability of the porous medium by examining the stress history of a given load, such as bending load applied on a beam or indentation applied on a poro-elastic half-space. The aforementioned engineering applications are just a few examples in which the knowledge of poromechanics is crucial. In recent years, the advancement of computational resource and the availability of more accurate and detailed experimental data and in situ data has made it possible to develop models with a new level of sophistication and a justifiable complexity. Meanwhile, new engineering challenges, such as geological disposal of captured carbon dioxide, nuclear waste, and the development of horizontal wellbores for hydraulic fractures, and forensic geotechnical engineering have motivated a growing interest to incorporate numerical modeling as an integral part of engineering design and analysis.This special issue provides a forum for presenting the state-of-the-art computational modeling for porous media.


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International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering

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Academic Units
Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Published Here
November 15, 2016