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Volume 2017, Article ID 7905218, 10 pages
Research Article

A Study on the Mechanical Properties of the Representative Volume Element in Fractal Porous Media

1School of Geoscience and Technology, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
2State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jianjun Liu; moc.361@6090jjuil

Received 3 May 2017; Revised 14 August 2017; Accepted 11 September 2017; Published 18 October 2017

Academic Editor: Micol Todesco

Copyright © 2017 Jianjun Liu 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.


Natural porous structure is extremely complex, and it is of great significance to study the macroscopic mechanical response of the representative volume element (RVE) with the microstructure of porous media. The real porous media RVE is generated by an improved quartet structure generation set (QSGS), and the connectivity of the reconstructed porous media models is analyzed. The fractal dimension of the RVE is calculated by the box-counting method, which considers the different porosity, different fractal dimension, and different mechanical properties of the matrix. Thus, the stress-strain curves of the RVE in the elastoplastic stage under different conditions are obtained. The results show that when the matrix mechanics are consistent, the mechanical properties of the porous media RVE are negatively correlated with the porosity and fractal dimension; when the difference between the porosity and fractal dimension increases, the trend is more obvious. The mechanical properties of the RVE have a positive correlation with the modulus of elasticity of the matrix, though the correlation with Poisson’s ratio of the matrix is weak. The fractal dimension of complex porous media can better predict the RVE mechanical characteristics than the porosity.