Hydraulic properties of porous sintered glass bead systems

University of Twente, Enschede | Ruhr-University Bochum; Eindhoven University of Technology | Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy | University of Stuttgart

In this paper, porous sintered glass bead packings are studied, using X-ray Computed Tomography (XRCT) images at 16μm16μm voxel resolution, to obtain not only the porosity field, but also other properties like particle sizes, pore throats and the permeability. The influence of the sintering procedure and the original particle size distributions on the microstructure, and thus on the hydraulic properties, is analyzed in detail. The XRCT data are visualized and studied by advanced image filtering and analysis algorithms on to the extracted sub-systems (cubes of different sizes) to determine the correlations between the microstructure and the measured macroscopic hydraulic parameters. Since accurate permeability measurements are not simple, special focus lies on the experimental set up and procedure, for which a new innovative multi-purpose cell based on a modular concept is presented. Furthermore, segmented voxel-based images (defining the microstructure) are used for 3D (three-dimensional) lattice Boltzmann simulations to directly compute some of the properties in the creeping flow regime.