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Absolute Permeability Simulation


Simulate absolute permeability on CT scans of different materials using the Transport Phenomena Simulation Module for VGSTUDIO MAX.

Simulation of Absolute Permeability

Permeability is the ability of a medium to allow a fluid to flow through.

The Transport Phenomena Simulation Module for VGSTUDIO MAX: 

  • Calculates stationary laminar (low Reynolds number) flow of an incompressible fluid through the voids of a porous material.
  • Works directly on voxel data and makes use of the sub-voxel accurate, local adaptive surface determination in VGSTUDIO MAX.
  • Has "experiment mode" for performing a virtual experiment and "tensor mode" for calculating the absolute permeability tensor.

Permeability simulations are based on the following assumptions regarding the viscous flow:

  • Movement of a single fluid through the pore space from high pressure to low pressure
  • Stationary laminar ("Stokes") flow, low Reynolds number, no turbulences
  • Only advection (no diffusion)
  • Incompressible fluid (no gas)
  • Porous material is completely flooded with fluid

Governing equations:

Experiment Mode

In experiment mode, the software performs a virtual experiment on the CT data of a structure, simulating the flow of a fluid through the structure from an inlet plane towards an outlet plane parallel to each other. Perpendicular to the inlet and outlet plane, sealed or embedded boundary conditions can be defined. A pressure difference or total flow rate can be specified as driving quantities for the flow.

Results of Calculation

The results are provided as 2D and 3D visualizations of the velocity field as well as the pressure distribution. Flow directions can be visualized by streamlines in 2D and 3D:

  • Velocity field
  • Pressure distribution
  • Streamlines
Velocity field (2D view)
Pressure distribution (2D view)
Streamlines (2D view)

Tensor Mode

In tensor mode, the software calculates the intrinsic effective tensor-valued permeability. The calculation of the permeability tensor can be done on the whole structure or for increments of the structure by means of an integration mesh.

Tensor mode
Absolute permeability tensor per integration mesh cell
Mean absolute permeability(2D view)
Void fraction (porosity, 2D view)

In addition to the tensors' eigenvalues and eigenvectors, the components of the absolute permeability tensor with respect to the simulation coordinate system are provided in a table view.