Three-Dimensional Hydraulic Fracture Simulation Using Fixed Grid Finite Element Algorithms

[+] Author and Article Information
T. S. Lee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Sogang University, Shinsu-Dong Mapo-Gu, Seoul, Korea

S. H. Advani

College of Engineering and Applied Science, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015

C. K. Pak

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA 18015

J. Energy Resour. Technol 116(1), 2-9 (Mar 01, 1994) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2906006 History: Received February 20, 1993; Revised December 20, 1993; Online April 16, 2008


A three-dimensional hydraulic fracture simulator (HYFFIX) is reformulated using finite element methodology and a newly adapted fixed grid. The numerical procedures for the coupled equations governing the fracture width, fluid pressure, and evolution of equilibrium planar crack in layered media are summarized. Fixed grid mesh control algorithms for the efficient tracking of the moving crack/fracture fluid front are detailed. The introduction of these novel algorithms in the simulator makes it numerically efficient and stable, in comparison to previously reported models which utilize migrating mesh techniques. Due to the enhanced numerical efficiency and compactness of the refined code, the model can also be readily implemented on a workstation or microcomputer.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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