Influence of gas generation in electro-osmosis consolidation

Jiao Yuan, Michael A. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a numerical model for the elasto-plastic electro-osmosis consolidation of unsaturated clays experiencing large strains, by considering electro-osmosis and hydro-mechanical flows in a deformable multiphase porous medium. The coupled governing equations involving the pore water flow, pore gas flow, electric flow and mechanical deformation in unsaturated clays are derived within the framework of averaging theory and solved numerically using finite elements. The displacements of the solid phase, the pressure of the water phase, the pressure of the gas phase and the electric potential are taken as the primary unknowns in the proposed model. The nonlinear variation of transport parameters during electro-osmosis consolidation are incorporated into the model using empirical expressions that strongly depend on the degree of water saturation, whereas the Barcelona Basic Model is employed to simulate the elasto-plastic mechanical behaviour of unsaturated clays. The accuracy of the proposed model is evaluated by validating it against two well-known numerical examples, involving electro-osmosis and unsaturated soil behaviour respectively. Two further examples are then investigated to study the capability of the computational algorithm in modelling multiphase flow in electro-osmosis consolidation. Finally, the effects of gas generation at the anode, the deformation characteristics, the degree of saturation and the time dependent evolution of the excess pore pressure are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1570-1593
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Elasto-plasticity
  • Electro-osmosis consolidation
  • Finite element analysis
  • Large strain
  • Unsaturated clays


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