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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 5172148, 8 pages
Research Article

Calculation of Clay Permeability Using a Rectangular Particle-Water Film Model by the Double-Scale Asymptotic Expansion Method

1Research Center of Coastal and Urban Geotechnical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2Huadian Electric Power Research Institute, Hangzhou 310030, China

Received 19 June 2016; Revised 20 September 2016; Accepted 3 October 2016

Academic Editor: Giorgio Pia

Copyright © 2016 Xiaowu Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Permeability of soil plays an important role in geotechnical engineering and is commonly determined by methods combining measurements with theory. Using the double-scale asymptotic expansion method, the Navier-Stokes equation is numerically solved to calculate the permeability, based on the homogenization method and the assumption that the homogeneous microstructure of the relevant porous media is represented accurately as the Representative Elemental Volume (REV). In this study, the commonly used square model is tested in the calculation of sea clay permeability. The results show large deviations. It is suspected that the square model could not represent the flattened shape of the clay particles and the bound water film wrapping around them. Hence, the Rectangle Particle-Water Film Model (i.e., the R-W model) is proposed. After determining the horizontal and vertical characteristic length of the unit cell using two pairs of initial data, the permeabilities of other different void ratios could be inversely calculated. The results of three types of clay obtained using the R-W model agree well with the experimental data. This shows the efficient feasibility and accuracy of the R-W model by providing a good representation of the clay particles when using the double-scale asymptotic expansion method to calculate clay permeability.