Upscaling permeability for fractured concrete: meso–macro numerical approach coupled to strong discontinuities



A two-scales numerical analysis is set up in order to upscale the permeability of fractured materials such as concrete. To that aim, we couple finite element (FE) kinematics enhancements (strong discontinuities) representing fine scale cracks to the fine scale permeability tensor. The latter may be split into two parts: the first one is isotropic and corresponds to flows within the porosity of the material; the second one, based upon a set of cracks with different orientations and openings, is anisotropic. For the latter, each crack is a path for mass flow according to the Poiseuille law considering two infinite planes. We show how the upscaling procedure leads both to the definition of macroscopic permeability tensors as well as the flow rate evaluation for components of concrete structures. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.