Using a geo-mechanical damage model to assess permeability in cracked porous media: internal length parameter issues
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The THHMD model is a thermo-hydro-mechanical damage model dedicated to unsaturated rocks. The present article questions one of the postulates of the model's formulation, namely using the same Representative Elementary Volume (REV) to define the crack density tensor and to compute the damaged permeability. In this study a drained triaxial compression test is simulated by considering that the REV's dimension (noted b) is a flow internal length. We show that the length b can be used to scale the influence of damage on permeability. Secondly, a nuclear waste repository is modeled. Multiphase flow is studied in fractured porous bedrock subjected to heating. It is demonstrated that (1) the THHMD model is mesh-independent, (2) b can be considered as the homogenization scale necessary to define the damage field, and (3) the model can be improved by adding one internal length parameter in the formulation.