Flow-induced compaction of a deformable porous medium

Hewitt, Duncan R. and Nijjer, Japinder S. and Worster, M. Grae and Neufeld, Jerome A. (2016) Flow-induced compaction of a deformable porous medium. Physical Review E, 93 (2). 023116. ISSN ISSN: 1539-3755, ESSN: 1550-2376 DOI https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.93.023116

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Fluid flowing through a deformable porous medium imparts viscous drag on the solid matrix, causing it to deform. This effect is investigated theoretically and experimentally in a one-dimensional configuration. The experiments consist of the downwards flow of water through a saturated pack of small, soft, hydrogel spheres, driven by a pressure head that can be increased or decreased. As the pressure head is increased, the effective permeability of the medium decreases and, in contrast to flow through a rigid medium, the flux of water is found to increase towards a finite upper bound such that it becomes insensitive to changes in the pressure head. Measurements of the internal deformation, extracted by particle tracking, show that the medium compacts differentially, with the porosity being lower at the base than at the upper free surface. A general theoretical model is derived, and the predictions of the model give good agreement with experimental measurements from a series of experiments in which the applied pressure head is sequentially increased. However, contrary to theory, all the experimental results display a distinct and repeatable hysteresis: the flux through the material for a particular applied pressure drop is appreciably lower when the pressure has been decreased to that value compared to when it has been increased to the same value.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2015AREP; IA70
Subjects: 99 - Other
Divisions: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Physical Review E
Volume: 93
Page Range: 023116
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.93.023116
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2016 11:45
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2016 11:45
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/3650

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