Simulation of Incompressible Flow through Rhombohedric Pores

R. Viola[1][3], F. Zama[2], M.Tuller[3], and E. Mesini[1]

[1]DICMA, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
[2]Dep. of Mathematics, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
[3]Dep. of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, University of Arizona, Arizona, USA

Advances in visualization and discretization of pore structures by means of Computed Tomography, and rapidly increasing computational capabilities, allow numerical modeling of pore-scale fluid flow based on the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations rather than using a macroscopic approach based on Darcy’s law. To test the capabilities of the COMSOL Multiphysics modeling platform, we investigated flows through idealized pore geometries and analyzed the effect of varying pressure gradients on velocity fields. The choice of a rhombohedric cell was motivated by experiments conducted with both uniform sands and glass beads with porosities between the extremes for cubic (48%) and rhombohedral packing of uniform spheres (26%).