Measuring permeability of rigid materials by a beam-bending method: II, Porous glass

Wilasa Vichit-Vadakan, George W. Scherer

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It has been shown in a companion paper that the permeability of a porous body can be found from a three-point bending experiment. When the sample is bent, a pressure gradient is created in the liquid within the pores; as the liquid flows in response to the gradient, the force that must be applied to the rod to sustain a fixed deflection decreases with time. By fitting the force decay curve to the predicted shape, the permeability is obtained, along with the elastic modulus. In this paper, that theory is tested using porous Vycor glass saturated with various solvents, including several normal alcohols, water, and glycerol. The shape of the measured decay is in excellent agreement with the prediction. Consistent with observations of previous workers, we find that the permeability is influenced by the size of the solvent molecule; by assuming that the pore surfaces are covered with a monolayer of immobile solvent, the observed variation can be explained. The advantage of the beam-bending method is that the results are obtained in a few minutes; moreover, there is no problem with leaks or need for high pressures, as there is in conventional measurements of low permeabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2240-2246
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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