Computational upscaling of Drucker-Prager plasticity from micro-CT images of synthetic porous rock

TitleComputational upscaling of Drucker-Prager plasticity from micro-CT images of synthetic porous rock
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsJ Liu, J Sarout, M Zhang, J Dautriat, E Veveakis, and K Regenauer-Lieb
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Start Page151
Pagination151 - 163
Date Published01/2018

Quantifying rock physical properties is essential for the mining and petroleum industry. Microtomography provides a new way to quantify the relationship between the microstructure and the mechanical and transport properties of a rock. Studies reporting the use microtomographic images to derive permeability and elastic moduli of rocks are common; only rare studies were devoted to yield and failure parameters using this technique. In this study, we simulate the macroscale plastic properties of a synthetic sandstone sample made of calcite-cemented quartz grains using the microscale information obtained from microtomography. The computations rely on the concept of representative volume elements (RVEs). The mechanical RVE is determined using the upper and lower bounds of finite-element computations for elasticity. We present computational upscaling methods from microphysical processes to extract the plasticity parameters of the RVE and compare results to experimental data. The yield stress, cohesion and internal friction angle of the matrix (solid part) of the rock were obtained with reasonable accuracy. Computations of plasticity of a series of models of different volume-sizes showed almost overlapping stress-strain curves, suggesting that the mechanical RVE determined by elastic computations is also valid for plastic yielding. Furthermore, a series of models were created by self-similarly inflating/deflating the porous models, that is keeping a similar structure while achieving different porosity values. The analysis of these models showed that yield stress, cohesion and internal friction angle linearly decrease with increasing porosity in the porosity range between 8 and 28 per cent. The internal friction angle decreases the most significantly, while cohesion remains stable.

Short TitleGeophysical Journal International