Computing Effective Permeability of Porous Media with FEM and Micro-CT: An Educational Approach

Vianna, Cunha, Azeredo, Leiderman, Pereira
2020 Fluids  
Permeability is a parameter that measures the resistance that fluid faces when flowing through a porous medium. Usually, this parameter is determined in routine laboratory tests by applying Darcy's law. Those tests can be complex and time-demanding, and they do not offer a deep understanding of the material internal microstructure. Currently, with the development of new computational technologies, it is possible to simulate fluid flow experiments in computational labs. Determining permeability
more » ... ith this strategy implies solving a homogenization problem, where the determination of the macro parameter relies on the simulation of a fluid flowing through channels created by connected pores present in the material's internal microstructure. This is a powerful example of the application of fluid mechanics to solve important industrial problems (e.g., material characterization), in which the students can learn basic concepts of fluid flow while practicing the implementation of computer simulations. In addition, it gives the students a concrete opportunity to work with a problem that associates two different scales. In this work, we present an educational code to compute absolute permeability of heterogeneous materials. The program simulates a Stokes flow in the porous media modeled with periodic boundary conditions using finite elements. Lastly, the permeability of a real sample of sandstone, modeled by microcomputed tomography (micro-CT), is obtained.
doi:10.3390/fluids5010016 fatcat:kdfh57embjhy3lrzuik3qrd25m