Multiscale modeling and analysis of compaction bands in high-porosity sandstones

H. Wu, J. Zhao, N. Guo
Acta Geotechnica
Compaction bands, coupled FEM and DEM, Microstructure, Multiscale modeling, Porous Sandstone, Strain localization

We present a multiscale investigation on the initiation and development of compaction bands in high-porosity sandstones based on an innovative hierarchical multiscale approach. This approach couples the finite element method and the discrete element method (DEM) to offer direct, rigorous linking of the microscopic origins and mechanisms with complex macroscopic phenomena observed in granular rocks such as strain localization and failure.

To simulate compaction band in granular cementitious sandstone, we adopt a bonded contact model with normal and tangential interparticle cohesions in the DEM and propose a dual-porosity structure consisting of macro-pores and interstitial voids for the representative volume element to mimic the typical meso-structure of high-porosity sandstones.

In the absence of particle crushing, our multiscale analyses identify debonding and pore collapses as two major contributors to the formation of compaction bands. The critical pressures predicted by our simulations, corresponding to surges of debonding and pore collapse events, agree well with the estimations from field data. The occurrence patterns of compaction band are found closely related to specimen heterogeneity, porosity and confining pressure.

Other deformation band patterns, including shear-enhanced compaction bands and compactive shear bands, were also observed under relatively low confining pressure conditions with a rough threshold at 0.55P∗ ( P∗ is the critical pressure) on the failure envelop. Key microscopic characteristics attributable to the occurrence of these various deformation patterns, including fabric anisotropy, particle rotation, debonding and pore collapse, are examined. Shear-enhanced compaction bands and pure compaction bands bear many similarities in terms of these microscopic characteristics, whereas both differ substantially from compactive shear bands.

Keywords: compaction bands, coupled FEM and DEM, microstructure, multiscale modeling, porous sandstone, strain localization.

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