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Inertial Sensitivity of Porous Microstructures

Pauthenet, Martin and Davit, Yohan and Quintard, Michel and Bottaro, Alessandro Inertial Sensitivity of Porous Microstructures. (2018) Transport in Porous Media, 125 (2). 211-238. ISSN 0169-3913

(Document in English)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11242-018-1115-1


Fluid flows through porous media are subject to different regimes, ranging from linear creeping flows to unsteady, chaotic turbulence. These different flow regimes at the pore scale have repercussions at larger scales, with the macroscale drag force experienced by a fluid moving through the medium becoming a nonlinear function of the average velocity beyond the creeping flow regime. Accurate prediction of the transition between different flow regimes is an important challenge with repercussions onto many engineering applications. Here, we are interested in the first deviation from Darcy’s law, when inertia effects become sizeable. Our goal is to define a Reynolds number, ReC, so that the inertial deviation occurs when ReC∼1 for any microstructure. The difficulty in doing so is to reduce the multiple length scales characterizing the geometry of the porous structure to a single length scale, $\ell$. We analyze the problem using the method of volume averaging and identify a length scale in the form $\ell=C_\lambda\sqrt{\nicefrac{K_\lambda}{\epsilon_\beta}}$, with $C_\lambda$ a parameter that indicates the sensitivity of the microstructure to inertia. The main advantage of this definition is that an explicit formula for $C_\lambda$ is given; $C_\lambda$ is computed from a creeping flow simulation in the porous medium; and ReC can be used to predict the transition to a non-Darcian regime more accurately than by using Reynolds numbers based on alternative length scales. The theory is validated numerically with data from flow simulations for a variety of microstructures.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Università degli Studi di Genova - UNIGE (ITALY)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:07 Sep 2018 15:11

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