Structural characterization of porous media

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XVI International Conference on Computational Methods in Water Resources (CMWR-XVI) Ingeniørhuset

Structural characterization of porous media
Author:Peter King <> (Imperial College)
Raphael Blumenfeld <> (Imperial College & Cambridge University)
Presenter:Peter King <> (Imperial College)
Date: 2006-06-18     Track: Special Sessions     Session: Pore-Scale Modelling: New Developments And Applications

The aim of this talk is to present a new framework for characterisation of porous materials and for obtaining first-principles structure-property relations. The method is constructed in several steps. First, the skeleton of the porous medium is characterised using a new fabric tensor that describes the local pore structure. For materials made of relatively rigid particles the skeleton consists of the network of inter-particle contacts. Second, the fabric tensor is used to construct a configurational entropy of the porous medium, based on Edwards’ compactivity concept from statistical physics. Both the fabric tensor and the entropic analysis are initially illustrated in two-dimensions and are then extended to three-dimensional systems. This formulation has proved useful in investigating the elastic properties fo granular and foamy materials. Using the entropic approach, we will be able, in the future, to calculate the permeability, electrical conductivity and other macroscopic properties, in terms of the statistics of the skeleton. Since these macroscopic properties are all linked to the same microscopic structural characterisation we expect to be able to derive theoretical relations between them.