Stress Transmission and Failure in Disordered Porous Media

Published: August 2017

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By means of extensive lattice-element simulations, we investigate stress transmission and its relation with failure properties in increasingly disordered porous systems. We observe a non-Gaussian broadening of stress probability density functions under tensile loading with increasing porosity and disorder, revealing a gradual transition from a state governed by single-pore stress concentration to a state controlled by multipore interactions and metric disorder. This effect is captured by the excess kurtosis of stress distributions and shown to be nicely correlated with the second moment of local porosity fluctuations, which appears thus as a (dis)order parameter for the system. By generating statistical ensembles of porous textures with varying porosity and disorder, we derive a general expression for the fracture stress as a decreasing function of porosity and disorder. Focusing on critical sites where the local stress is above the global fracture threshold, we also analyze the transition to failure in terms of a coarse-graining length. These findings provide a general framework which can also be more generally applied to multiphase and structural heterogeneous materials.

Related: Porous Materials Exhibit Granular-Like Stress Chains

MITEI Authors

Roland Pellenq Senior Research Scientist

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Franz-Josef Ulm Professor

Civil and Environmental Engineering