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Open AccessArticle

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

1
School of Engineering, Fluminense Federal University, Rua Passo da Patria 156, Niterói 24210-240, Brazil
2
Institute of Computing, Fluminense Federal University, Rua Passo da Patria 156, Niterói 24210-240, Brazil
3
Institute of Chemistry, Fluminense Federal University, R. São João Batista, s/n, Niterói 24020-150, Brazil
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Fluids 2020, 5(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids5010016
Received: 21 December 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 24 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Teaching and Learning of Fluid Mechanics)
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 with 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. View Full-Text
Keywords: fluid mechanics; permeability; finite element method; homogenization; microstructure; micro-CT fluid mechanics; permeability; finite element method; homogenization; microstructure; micro-CT
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vianna, R.S.; Cunha, A.M.; Azeredo, R.B.V.; Leiderman, R.; Pereira, A. Computing Effective Permeability of Porous Media with FEM and Micro-CT: An Educational Approach. Fluids 2020, 5, 16.

AMA Style

Vianna RS, Cunha AM, Azeredo RBV, Leiderman R, Pereira A. Computing Effective Permeability of Porous Media with FEM and Micro-CT: An Educational Approach. Fluids. 2020; 5(1):16.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vianna, Rafael S.; Cunha, Alexsander M.; Azeredo, Rodrigo B.V.; Leiderman, Ricardo; Pereira, Andre. 2020. "Computing Effective Permeability of Porous Media with FEM and Micro-CT: An Educational Approach" Fluids 5, no. 1: 16.

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