Sandia National Labs NM Partnerships Collaboration Report 2021-2022

Predicting stability of infrastructure following disasters

Environmentally assisted brittle fracture in infrastructure (bridges, dams, tunnels) can occur following man-made threats or natural disasters. For accurate prediction of catastrophic failure and collapse, integrated multiphysics modeling requires the incorporation of environmental impacts into modeling efforts. The team, led by Sandia PI Jessica Rimsza, developed new modeling capabilities for evaluating multiphase phenomena in cement based materials in energy and infrastructure applications through this LDRD project. They also developed a chemo-mechanical model for cement fracture, identified sources of uncertainty in cement degradation and concrete fracture, and created six new capabilities for modeling brittle fracture in the open source code Peridigm. Academic collaborations with UNM, University of Colorado Boulder, and Purdue provided evaluation of concrete fracture in gravity dam structures and the degradation and clay composition on evolving cement fracture. A funded strategic initiative on decarbonization of cement manufacturing incorporated the work; DOE Earthshot included content on the project; and a white paper was authored for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers. Potential benefits to DOE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are based on an improved ability to predict the stability and improve the resiliency of cement-/concrete-based infrastructure, explicitly described as a focus of DOE in the Office of

Fossil Energy and Geothermal Technologies Office. Outcomes will allow for prediction of degradation of cement structures (e.g., buildings, foundations, tunnels) following destabilizing events (e.g., terrorist attacks, natural disasters), which can then be mitigated, protecting the nation’s infrastructures and ensuring resilience to external and internal threats.

Peridynamic simulation of concrete fracture under tension with cracks forming in the mortar between the solid aggregates.


2021-2022 Collaboration Report

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