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Article Dans Une Revue Advances in Water Resources Année : 2016

Pore-scale simulations of drainage in granular materials: finite size effects and the representative elementary volume

Résumé

A pore-scale model is introduced for two-phase flow in dense packings of polydisperse spheres. The model is developed as a component of a more general hydromechanical coupling framework based on the discrete element method, which will be elaborated in future papers and will apply to various processes of interest in soil science, in geomechanics and in oil and gas production. Here the emphasis is on the generation of a network of pores mapping the void space between spherical grains, and the definition of local criteria governing the primary drainage process. The pore space is decomposed by Regular Triangulation, from which a set of pores connected by throats are identified. A local entry capillary pressure is evaluated for each throat, based on the balance of capillary pressure and surface tension at equilibrium. The model reflects the possible entrapment of disconnected patches of the receding wetting phase. It is validated by a comparison with drainage experiments. In the last part of the paper, a series of simulations are reported to illustrate size and boundary effects, key questions when studying small samples made of spherical particles be it in simulations or experiments. Repeated tests on samples of different sizes give evolution of water content which are not only scattered but also strongly biased for small sample sizes. More than 20,000 spheres are needed to reduce the bias on saturation below 0.02. Additional statistics are generated by subsampling a large sample of 64,000 spheres. They suggest that the minimal sampling volume for evaluating saturation is one hundred times greater that the sampling volume needed for measuring porosity with the same accuracy. This requirement in terms of sample size induces a need for efficient computer codes. The method described herein has a low algorithmic complexity in order to satisfy this requirement. It will be well suited to further developments toward coupled flow-deformation problems in which evolution of the microstructure require frequent updates of the pore network.
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Dates et versions

hal-01954544 , version 1 (05-07-2024)

Identifiants

Citer

C. Yuan, B. Chareyre, F. Darve. Pore-scale simulations of drainage in granular materials: finite size effects and the representative elementary volume. Advances in Water Resources, 2016, 95 (spec), pp.109-104. ⟨10.1016/j.advwatres.2015.11.018⟩. ⟨hal-01954544⟩

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