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Journal Articles Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids Year : 2005

Poromechanics of freezing materials


When subjected to a uniform cooling below the freezing point a water-infiltrated porous material undergoes a cryo-deformation resulting from various combined actions: (i) the difference of density between the liquid water and the ice crystal, which results in the initial build-up of an in-pore pressure at the onset of crystallization; (ii) the interfacial effects arising between the different constituents, which eventually govern the crystallization process in connection with the pore access radius distribution; (iii) the drainage of the liquid water expelled from the freezing sites towards the air voids; (iv) the cryo-suction process, which drives liquid water towards the already frozen pores as the temperature further decreases; (v) the thermomechanical coupling between the solid matrix, the liquid water and the ice crystal. We work out a comprehensive theory able to encompass this whole set of actions. A macroscopic approach first provides the constitutive equations of freezing poroelastic materials, including the interfacial energy effects. This approach reveals the existence of a thermodynamic state function—namely the liquid saturation degree as a function of the temperature only. The macroscopic ice-dependent poroelastic properties are then upscaled from the knowledge of the elastic properties of the solid matrix, of the pore access radius distribution, and of the capillary curve. The theory is finally illustrated by analysing quantitatively the effects of the cooling rate and of the pore radius distribution upon the cryo-deformation of water-infiltrated porous materials. The theory succeeds in accounting for the experimentally observed shrinkage of embedded air voids, while predicting the partial melting of the ice already formed when the cooling suddenly stops.

Dates and versions

hal-00586279 , version 1 (15-04-2011)



Olivier Coussy. Poromechanics of freezing materials. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2005, 53 (8), pp.1689-1718. ⟨10.1016/j.jmps.2005.04.001⟩. ⟨hal-00586279⟩
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