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Keywords:

  • anisotropic damage model;
  • concrete and rock fracture;
  • permeability;
  • confining pressure

SUMMARY

The results reported in this paper deal with the simulation of damage in cohesive geomaterials such as rocks or concrete subjected to dynamic loads. The practical objective is to stimulate the production of tight gas reservoirs with a technique that is an alternative to hydraulic fracturing. The principle is that when subjected to dynamic loads, cohesive materials such as concrete, rocks or ceramics exhibit distributed micro-cracking as opposed to localised cracking observed under static loads. Hence, a low permeability rock containing gas trapped into occluded pores can be fragmented with the help of dynamic loads, and gas can be extracted in a much more efficient way compared with hydraulic fracturing, where only large macro cracks are formed with very few connections between occluded pores. At the stage of laboratory development of this technique, compressive underwater shock waves have been used to increase the intrinsic permeability of concrete specimens. In a previous study, pressure waves generated by pulsed arc electrohydraulic discharges in water were used in order to induce micro-cracking and an increase of average permeability of concrete hollow cylinders subjected to confinement stresses (equivalent to geostatic stresses). We discuss here a 3-D anisotropic constitutive model aimed at describing the dynamic response of these specimens. It is based on rate-dependent continuum damage constitutive relations. Crack closure effects and damage-induced anisotropy are included in the model. The directional growth of damage is related to the directional growth of material intrinsic permeability. Numerical simulations of damage induced by shock waves show good agreement with the experiments for various confinement levels of the specimens. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.