Numerical Study of Damage in Unsaturated Geological and Engineered Barriers
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The theoretical framework of a damage model dedicated to non-isothermal unsaturated porous media is presented. The damage variable is a second-order tensor, and the model is formulated in independent state variables. The behavior laws are derived from a postulated expression of Helmholtz free energy. The damaged rigidities are computed by applying the Principle of Equivalent Elastic Energy (PEEE). Internal length parameters are introduced in the expressions of liquid water and vapor conductivities, to account for cracking effects on fluid flows. The damage model has been implemented in Θ-Stock Finite Element program. The mechanical aspect of the damage model is validated by simulating a triaxial compression test on a dry isothermal brittle material. Then, a sophisticated model of nuclear waste disposal, involving two non-isothermal unsaturated porous media, is reproduced. The results obtained in elasticity are in good agreement with the results presented in the corresponding reference article. A parametric study on initial damage is then performed to assess the influence of the Excavated Damaged Zone (EDZ) on the response of the nuclear waste repository during the heating phase. The trends meet the theoretical expectations.