An eXtended Finite Element Method Implementation in COMSOL Multiphysics: Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical Modeling of Fluid Flow in Discontinuous Porous Media

12/17/2021
by   Ahmad Jafari, et al.
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This paper presents the implementation of the eXtended Finite Element Method (XFEM) in the general-purpose commercial software package COMSOL Multiphysics for multi-field thermo-hydro-mechanical problems in discontinuous porous media. To this end, an exclusive enrichment strategy is proposed in compliance with the COMSOL modeling structure. COMSOL modules and physics interfaces are adopted to take account of the relevant physical processes involved in thermo-hydro-mechanical coupling analysis, namely: the mechanical deformation, fluid flow in porous media and heat transfer. Essential changes are made to the internal variables of the physics interfaces to ensure consistency in the evaluation of enriched solution fields. The model preprocessing, level-set updates, coupling of the relevant physics and postprocessing procedures are performed adopting a coherent utilization of the COMSOL built-in features along with the COMSOL LiveLink for MATLAB functions. The implementation process, remedies for the treatment of the enriched zones, XFEM framework setup, multiphysics coupling, numerical integration and numerical solution strategy are described in detail. The capabilities and performance of the proposed approach are investigated by examining several multi-field thermo-hydro-mechanical simulations involving single/multiple discontinuities in 2D/3D porous rock settings.

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