A thermo-chemo-electro-mechanical framework of unsaturated expansive clays

Xiaoqin Lei, Henry Wong, Antonin Fabbri, Ali Limam, Yung Ming Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Prediction of the coupled chemo-mechanical behaviours of porous media is an important problem in many areas, i.e., expansive clays in geotechnical and petroleum engineering, engineered barriers in the underground storage of nuclear wastes, and biological tissues in biological engineering. A further complex condition occurs when the voids are not fully saturated by liquid, such that capillary effects cannot be neglected a priori and might play an important role. Focusing on the modelling of expansive clays in the geotechnical field and based on the modified mixture theory, the work presented in this paper contributes to the construction of a theoretical framework used to model such complex coupling behaviours. The Clausius-Duhem inequality, which governs the dissipation associated with mechanical work, phase transformation, mass transport and thermal transport, is rigorously derived. Based on this theoretical framework, a chemo-poro-elastic unsaturated model is developed. The model is subsequently used to simulate the salt solution infiltration process through an unsaturated expansive clayey soil that induces changes in the mechanical and hydraulic field quantities. The logical tendencies are obtained and provide a preliminary demonstration of the capabilities of the newly developed theoretical framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Chemo-mechanical
  • Clausius-Duhem inequality
  • Multi-species mixture
  • Thermodynamics
  • Unsaturated expansive soil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'A thermo-chemo-electro-mechanical framework of unsaturated expansive clays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this