Microstructural Characterization and Micromechanical Modeling of Oolitic Porous Rocks

Abstract : The aim of this work is to study the influence of the microstructure of heterogeneous porous rocks on the behavior at the macroscopic scale. Thus, we characterized the microstructure and micromechanical properties (thanks to nano-indentation tests) of two porous oolitic rocks (Lavoux limestone and iron ore) to calculate their effective mechanical and thermal properties. Oolitic rocks are constituted by an assemblage of porous grains (oolites), pores and inter-granular crystals. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray 3D Computed Tomography were used to identify the different components of these rocks. Particular attention was given to X-Ray computed tomography since this analytical method allows the characterization of the porous network (size, spatial distribution, and volume fraction), and the shapes of oolites and inter-oolitic crystals. The novelty of this work lies in taking into account the 3D real shape of pores. Hence, we approximated porous oolites by spheres and irregularly shaped pores by ellipsoids. This approximation was performed thanks to the principal component analysis (PCA), which provides the geometrical properties such as length of semi-axes and orientation of resulting ellipsoids. The sphericity of the approximated oolites was calculated and the values close to 1 allowed us to consider oolites as spheres. To verify the approximation in the case of pores, we evaluated the contribution of these irregularly shaped three-dimensional pores to the overall elastic properties. Thus, compliance contribution tensors for 3D irregular pores and their ellipsoidal approximations were calculated using the finite element method (FEM). These tensors were compared and a relative error was estimated to evaluate the accuracy of the approximation. This error produces a maximum discrepancy of 4.5% between the two solutions for pores and ellipsoids which verifies the proposed approximation procedure based on PCA. The FEM numerical method was verified by comparing the numerical solution for compliance contribution tensors of ellipsoids to the analytical solution based on Eshelby’s theory. The difference between these two solutions does not exceed 3%. The same numerical method was used to calculate thermal resistivity contribution tensors. Calculated compliance and resistivity contribution tensors were used to evaluate effective elastic properties (bulk modulus and shear coefficient) and effective thermal conductivity by considering the two-step Maxwell homogenization scheme. The results showed an important influence of the porosity on effective properties. Finally, the results obtained for irregular pores were compared to those for ellipsoidal ones and they showed a good agreement with a maximum deviation of 4% which verifies once again the approximation of irregularly shaped pores by tri-axial ellipsoids
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Kassem Kalo. Microstructural Characterization and Micromechanical Modeling of Oolitic Porous Rocks. Civil Engineering. Université de Lorraine, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017LORR0203⟩. ⟨tel-01813559⟩

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