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Developments in a Coupled Thermal-Hydraulic-Chemical-Geomechanical Model for Soil and Concrete

S.C. Seetharam[1], D. Jacques[1]
[1]Performance Assessments Unit, Institute for Environment, Health and Safety, Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN), Mol, Belgium

This paper documents current status in the development of a coupled thermal-hydraulic-chemical-geomechanical numerical suite within COMSOL-MATLAB environment to address soil and concrete applications. The mathematical formulations are based on well-established continuum scale models unifying mass conservation, energy conservation, charge conservation, thermodynamic equilibrium and kinetics and stress equilibrium equations. In this instance, four benchmark problems have been selected which shows the ability of the coupled model to handle hydro-mechanical, thermal-hydro-mechanical, chemo-osmotic and reactive transport problems. Results have been discussed in terms of comparisons of pore water pressure, temperature, concentrations, stresses and displacements against alternative numerical codes and experiments. The results are largely encouraging and go to establish that COMSOL can serve as a powerful research tool.