Pore-fluid behaviour can be viewed in a virtual reality environment

Pore-Cor network modelling suite

Pore-Cor, University of Plymouth 

Reviewed by Patrick Gane, Helsinki University of Technology, Finland

Modelling liquid-structure interactions is well served by the pore network descriptor Pore-Cor. Its basis of devising a 3D pore structure via pore-throat connectivity has contributed to a reappraisal of the dynamics of fluid flow through porous structures.  

In the latest version, v.6.0, the user is introduced to a well-ordered display with functions access appealingly laid out. The model has moved on from the restrictions imposed in earlier versions. The limited log-linear relations for pore and throat size have been replaced by size spread and skew applied to a bounded distribution, with the added possibility of considering correlated structures. 

Care must be exercised, though, when using this newfound interpretative freedom. This is clearly illustrated in the use of the Simplex algorithm seeking an effective combination surface across parameters. It requires the definition of throat skew, throat spread, connectivity, pore skew and correlation level, all of which demand a deep knowledge of their impact and a highly educated start point in relation to the structure under investigation. 

Nonetheless, for the intrepid expert, with independent confirmatory structural information, the adventure is highly rewarding, as features such as micro-orientation, filter bed build-up and structure consolidation, can be investigated. 

Inclusion of the fast wetting algorithm, incorporating Bosanquet inertia, itself equally applicable to de-wetting, permits forces exerted within the structure to be derived.  

One disappointment remains: the value of modelled permeability. In mitigation this function has been shown in many cases to track reliably the experimentally observed values, but nearly always with a distinct underestimation. The addition perhaps with most potential is the description of diffusivity. 

Those involved in catalyst design, moisture boundary control, evolution of aroma, drug carrier properties and the like, should not miss this opportunity to seek better solutions via the conceptual understanding of pore networks that the model provides.  

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