University of Plymouth, UK

University of Plymouth, UK 
Reviewed by Dave VanderWiel
Catalytic Products

Version 5.0 of the Pore-Cor Research Suite is a comprehensive tool for modelling porosity and fluidics in porous structures. 

The suite comprises four programs that import user mercury porosimetry data or water retention data, correct for sample compressibility and then calculate and display a three-dimensional pore-throat network model. 

The resulting model can then be used in one of the programs to simulate a variety of fluid intrusion or percolation scenarios, as well as estimate bulk properties such as diffusivity and tortuosity.

In contrast to most model equation sets, Pore-Cor does not assume an idealised cylindrical pore shape. Instead, the software uses an anisotropic pore-throat matrix model that allows for more realistic structures such as dead-end pores and less accessible internal porosity. The resulting non-Gaussian pore/throat distributions may be disturbing to users who are used to bell curves, especially when comparing the model results with data from other methods.

While not exactly plug-and-play, the software is relatively 
easy to use after some initial training, and the interface rapidly becomes intuitive to the frequent user. While the addition of several tutorial files certainly help in the learning process, the Pore-Cor short course training is highly recommended.

The main limitation to applying the software in certain materials is the requirement that the sample mercury intrusion curve be monomodal, exhibiting a smooth, continuous ’s’ shape. While the software corrects for initial uptake at low pressure, the model fitting subroutine can only handle a single inflection point. 

Nonetheless, multi-modal pore structures can still be analysed by separating an intrusion curve into a series of monomodal curves and modelling each individually.

The suite is best used as a comparative tool within a series of samples, rather than as an independent means of structural evaluation. In addition, it is important to gather experimental data using methods explicitly designed for subsequent use in Pore-Cor, so that a sufficient model fit can be achieved. These methods do not differ greatly from standard routines, so gathering data of sufficient quality for Pore-Core is not difficult.

For further information on Pore-Cor contact Peter Matthews at