CEE Seminar: The Hidden Role of Surface Forces in the Mechanics of Porous Geomaterials

Oct 17

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Monday, October 17, 2022 – 12:00PM to 1:00PM


Yida Zhang, Assistant Professor, Geotechnical Engineering and Geomechanics Group, University of Colorado Boulder

Surface forces in the vicinity of interfaces has been extensively studied in the field of surface science and thin-film physics. Useful concepts such as surface tension and disjoining pressure, however, has seldomly been linked to the mechanics and physics of porous materials despite their enormous internal surface area (one gram of some porous media can contain surface area as large as a football field).
This presentation will demonstrate how the consideration of solid-fluid interface can explain several characteristic mechanical behaviors of porous geomaterials, including adsorption-induced deformation, water-assisted grain crushing, and environment-enhanced fracture propagation. The talk will synthesize the speaker's past seven years' effort on this theme and conclude with some future research directions.