Modélisation de la propagation de fissures dans un contexte thermo-électro-mécanique non linéaire par la méthode des éléments finis étendus (XFEM)

Authors: Habib, Fakhreddine
Advisor: Fafard, MarioSorelli, Luca
Abstract: The outbreak of visible cracks can be triggered at several stages in the life of a cathode block in an electrolysis cell. Various matters can prompt such an upsurge. Under electrical pre-heating, for example, the random spatial distribution of thermal gradients can lead to the rise of one or more cracks. The main objective of this work is to model and simulate the crack propagation in a multi-physical, thermo-electro-mechanical, context. The approach is based on a monolithic numerical development philosophy of a strongly nonlinear coupling, with the consideration of thermoelectric exchanges through the crack lips using the extended finite element method (XFEM). This project was sketched essentially on three sub-projects. Firstly, a new model of crack propagation in a thermomechanical fashion over a cracked domain has been developed. A geometrical enrichment strategy by XFEM has been successfully performed to model crack growth as well as to achieve the expected optimal convergence rate in physical responses and the computation of stress intensity factors. Three benchmarks were examined and validated from existing results in the literature. Then, anew example of the propagation of multiple cracks and multiple defects was designed. The comparison of the results obtained shows a good agreement with the reported works as well as the robustness and the accuracy of the numerical development. Secondly, an original approach to the modeling of full thermoelectric coupling, in the presence of a strong static material discontinuity and taking into account the thermal and electrical exchanges through its lips, has been elaborated. First, a model has been established and validated in the case of a capacitive crack, where the properties of the dielectric, between the inter-crack-lips, play a determining role for the ascertainment of its exchange intensity. Similarly, a model has been settled for the choice of a gaseous medium filling the gap between the two rims, ensuring the resistive heat exchange aspect. The thermoelectric model has been implemented via XFEM by performing the enhanced version and taking into account the treatment of numerical noise due to the blending elements. Three case studies were intended, the first one was employed to validate the numerical implementation of the stated model via a developed patch test. Good convergence and accuracy of numerical outcomes have been noted. The second focused on the case of a curved crack, less considered in the literature, which can be encountered in many applications, and represents a significant numerical challenge. The third is an elaborate study on the cathode. The analysis of the impact of cracks on energy efficiency was also raised for the case of multiple cracks. Thirdly, numerical originality of crack propagation in the context of the full thermo-electro-mechanical (TEM) coupling combined with thermal and electrical exchanges between the crack lips has been displayed. The area formed by the displacement of the two crack bank sis carried out in the physical expressions of the heat and electrical coefficients. The quantification of this gap is rendered by the resulting displacement jump across the lips. This aspect makes the mechanical problem nonlinear as well through exchanges, and therefore the global TEM system is strongly nonlinear. An original integration strategy, from a technical point of view, has been realized. It is based on a technique of barycentric sub-triangulation through a ’spider-web’ for the surface elements cut by the crack. Another procedure based on integration by crack ’arms’ reserved for heat and electrical exchanges elements. Two case studies have been examined. The first one is an example of the mixed-mode growth of a sloped crack in TEM context with thermal and electrical exchanges as a function of the displacement jump. The second was held for an industrial case of an electrolysis cell in operation and TEM circumstances. The impact of the presence of crack on several physical responses is analyzed. As an outcome, due to the thermoelectric expansion of the cathode block, the crack is expected to join the upper surface and lead to the end of the cathode’s life.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2019
Open Access Date: 13 March 2019
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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