Our paper on modeling polycrystal salt with precipitation creep, fracture and healing has also been accepted by CMAME today
We present a new thermal-mechanical-chemical-phase field model that captures the multi-physical coupling effects of precipitation creeping, crystal plasticity, anisotropic fracture, and crack healing in polycrystalline rock at various temperature and strain-rate regimes. This model is solved via a fast Fourier transfer solver with an operator-split algorithm to update displacement, temperature and phase field, and chemical concentration incrementally. In nuclear waste disposal in salt formation, brine inside the crystal salt may migrate along the grain boundary and cracks due to the gradient of interfacial energy and pressure. This migration has a significant implication on the permeability evolution, creep deformation, and crack healing within rock salt but is difficult to incorporate implicitly via effective medium theories compared with computational homogenization.
As such, we introduce a thermodynamic framework and a corresponding computational implementation that explicitly captures the brine diffusion along the grain boundary and crack at the grain scale. Meanwhile, the anisotropic fracture and healing are captured via a high-order phase field that represents the regularized crack region in which a newly derived non-monotonic driving force is used to capture the fracture and healing due to the solution precipitation. Numerical examples are presented to demonstrate the capacity of the thermodynamic framework to capture the multiphysics material behaviors of rock salt. This paper is Part II of our work on modeling polycrystal salt for nuclear waste disposal.
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