This paper is concerned with the estimation of the effective transport characteristics of fluid-saturated porous media via rigorous microstructure-property relations. We are particularly interested in predicting the formation factor F, mean survival time τ, principal NMR (diffusion) relaxation time T1, principal viscous relaxation time Θ1, and fluid permeability k. To do so, we employ rigorous methods to estimate the fluid permeability and these other transport properties of “hyperuniform” and nonhyperuniform models of porous media from microstructural information. Disordered hyperuniform materials are exotic amorphous states of matter that have attracted great attention in the physical, mathematical and biological science but little is known about their fluid transport characteristics. In carrying out this investigation, we not only draw from ideas and results of the emerging field of hyperuniformity, but from homogenization theory, statistical geometry, differential equations (spectrum of Laplace and Stokes operators), and the covering and quantizer problems of discrete geometry. Among other results, we derive a Fourier representation of a classic rigorous upper bound on the fluid permeability that depends on the spectral density to infer how the permeabilities of hyperuniform porous media perform relative to those of nonhyperuniform ones. We find that the velocity fields in nonhyperuniform porous media are generally much more localized over the pore space compared to those in their hyperuniform counterparts, which has implications for their permeabilities. Rigorous bounds on transport properties suggest a new approximate formula for the fluid permeability that provides reasonably accurate permeability predictions of a certain class of hyperuniform and nonhyperuniform porous media. These comparative studies shed new light on the microstructural characteristics that determine the transport properties of general porous media. Our findings also have implications for the design of porous materials with desirable transport properties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology