An algorithm for generating mechanically sound sphere packings in structurally complex geological models

Francois Bonneau and Luc Scholt{\`e}s and Hugo Rambure. ( 2019 )
in: 2019 Ring Meeting, ASGA

Abstract

The discrete element method (DEM) is a powerful tool for simulating complex mechanical behaviors which requires a volumetric discretization of space based on particles. The structural properties of particle assemblies used in DEM simulations directly impact the behavior of the simulated medium and it is thus of critical importance to generate particle assemblies so as to (1) avoid any bias induced by their fabric and (2) conform with the structural characteristics of the medium under consideration. The main objective of this work is to propose an algorithm, inspired by the space filling Apollony fractal, for generating sphere packings in structurally complex geological objects as a first step toward their mechanical modeling with the DEM. In particular, we assess the mechanical relevance of the generated packings for simulating typical rock materials behaviors, and we discuss the ability of the proposed approach to discretize geological models conciliating both adaptive grid refinement and structural discontinuities. The algorithm ensures the tangential conformity of produced packings with the model boundary representations and enables to adapt the particle size distribution in the vicinity of structures of interest such as, for instance, fractures, faults or any kind of flaws, like pores or man made excavations.

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BibTeX Reference

@INPROCEEDINGS{BonneauRM2019,
    author = { Bonneau, Francois and Scholt{\`e}s, Luc and Rambure, Hugo },
     title = { An algorithm for generating mechanically sound sphere packings in structurally complex geological models },
 booktitle = { 2019 Ring Meeting },
      year = { 2019 },
 publisher = { ASGA },
  abstract = { The discrete element method (DEM) is a powerful tool for simulating complex mechanical behaviors which requires a volumetric discretization of space based on particles. The structural properties of particle assemblies used in DEM simulations directly impact the behavior of the simulated medium and it is thus of critical importance to generate particle assemblies so as to (1) avoid any bias induced by their fabric and (2) conform with the structural characteristics of the medium under consideration. The main objective of this work is to propose an algorithm, inspired by the space filling Apollony fractal, for generating sphere packings in structurally complex geological objects as a first step toward their mechanical modeling with the DEM. In particular, we assess the mechanical relevance of the generated packings for simulating typical rock materials behaviors, and we discuss the ability of the proposed approach to discretize geological models conciliating both adaptive grid refinement and structural discontinuities. The algorithm ensures the tangential conformity of produced packings with the model boundary representations and enables to adapt the particle size distribution in the vicinity of structures of interest such as, for instance, fractures, faults or any kind of flaws, like pores or man made excavations. }
}