24/01/2020 – C. MacMinn – Flow, transport, and deformation in soft porous media

Séminaire IUSTI – 24 jan. 2020 – 11h salle 250

Flow, transport, and deformation in soft porous media

Christopher MacMinn – Oxford Univ., RU

Fluid flows through soft porous media are ubiquitous across nature and industry, from methane bubbles rising through lakebed and seabed sediments to nutrient transport in living cells and tissues to the manufacturing of paper products and many composites. The defining feature of a soft porous medium is that fluid flow can drive deformations that transform its pore structure. This feature has profound implications for the transport of solutes and the simultaneous flow of multiple fluid phases, both of which are strongly coupled to pore structure. Here, we review the fundamental mechanisms that couple flow with deformation in soft porous media, the traditional macroscopic mathematical models for these systems, and the outstanding challenges associated with a transforming pore structure. We then consider these topics in the context of two model systems: The spontaneous imbibition of water into a gel during swelling and the forced injection of gas into a soft granular packing. We show that flow and transport in these systems remain at the frontier of our ability to measure and model.