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Computation 2016, 4(1), 12; doi:10.3390/computation4010012

Contact Angle Effects on Pore and Corner Arc Menisci in Polygonal Capillary Tubes Studied with the Pseudopotential Multiphase Lattice Boltzmann Model

1
Laboratory of Multiscale Studies in Building Physics, EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), Dübendorf 8600, Switzerland
2
Chair of Building Physics, ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich), Zürich 8093, Switzerland
3
Earth and Environment Sciences Division (EES-16), Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
4
Key Laboratory of Thermo-Fluid Science and Engineering of MOE, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Demos T. Tsahalis
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 9 February 2016 / Accepted: 12 February 2016 / Published: 20 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Modeling Flow and Transport in Porous Media)
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Abstract

In porous media, pore geometry and wettability are determinant factors for capillary flow in drainage or imbibition. Pores are often considered as cylindrical tubes in analytical or computational studies. Such simplification prevents the capture of phenomena occurring in pore corners. Considering the corners of pores is crucial to realistically study capillary flow and to accurately estimate liquid distribution, degree of saturation and dynamic liquid behavior in pores and in porous media. In this study, capillary flow in polygonal tubes is studied with the Shan-Chen pseudopotential multiphase lattice Boltzmann model (LBM). The LB model is first validated through a contact angle test and a capillary intrusion test. Then capillary rise in square and triangular tubes is simulated and the pore meniscus height is investigated as a function of contact angle θ. Also, the occurrence of fluid in the tube corners, referred to as corner arc menisci, is studied in terms of curvature versus degree of saturation. In polygonal capillary tubes, the number of sides leads to a critical contact angle θc which is known as a key parameter for the existence of the two configurations. LBM succeeds in simulating the formation of a pore meniscus at θ > θc or the occurrence of corner arc menisci at θ < θc. The curvature of corner arc menisci is known to decrease with increasing saturation and decreasing contact angle as described by the Mayer and Stoewe-Princen (MS-P) theory. We obtain simulation results that are in good qualitative and quantitative agreement with the analytical solutions in terms of height of pore meniscus versus contact angle and curvature of corner arc menisci versus saturation degree. LBM is a suitable and promising tool for a better understanding of the complicated phenomena of multiphase flow in porous media. View Full-Text
Keywords: menisci; polygonal tube; corner arc; capillary rise; wettability; saturation; curvature; single component multiphase lattice Boltzmann method menisci; polygonal tube; corner arc; capillary rise; wettability; saturation; curvature; single component multiphase lattice Boltzmann method
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Son, S.; Chen, L.; Kang, Q.; Derome, D.; Carmeliet, J. Contact Angle Effects on Pore and Corner Arc Menisci in Polygonal Capillary Tubes Studied with the Pseudopotential Multiphase Lattice Boltzmann Model. Computation 2016, 4, 12.

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