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Modeling of hydraulic fracture branching in porous media using hybrid FEM coupled with peridynamics

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conference contribution
posted on 14.05.2021, 12:33 by Yanan Sun, Michael G. Edwards, Chenfeng Li
Simulation of complex fracture patterns can aid understanding of the mechanisms of hydraulic fracturing, with potential for significant impact on improving oil and gas recovery. In this paper, a fully coupled hydraulic fracture propagation simulation method employing a hybrid finite element method (FEM) coupled with peridynamics (PD) is presented. Considering the ability of PD for solving discontinuous problems, the solid deformation and fracture propagation are captured by peridynamics (PD) and fluid flow is controlled by FEM. The whole process is solved by a fully implicit method. This paper is addressed to researchers who would like to have a quick and simple numerical implementation of a simulator for computing complex hydraulic fracturing processes. The presented method demonstrates the capability of the model for handling complex dynamic crack propagation together with crack branching. The study shows that at faster loading rate, higher-energy release rate, more brittle and impermeable media will induce crack branching more easily.

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