Chemical Engineering Science, Vol.173, 525-536, 2017
On the examination of the Darcy permeability of soft fibrous porous media; new correlations
In this paper, we report a novel experimental approach to investigate the compression-dependent Darcy permeability of soft porous media. Especially, we are proposing new correlations that describe the change of the permeability of random fibrous porous media as a function of its compression. A special device was developed that consisted of a rectangular flow channel with adjustable gap thickness ranging from 3 mm to 20 mm. Air was forced through the thin gap filled with testing fibrous materials. By measuring the flow rate and the pressure gradient, we have successfully obtained the Darcy permeability of different fibrous porous materials at different compression ratios. Theoretical or semi-empirical models have been compared with the experimental results, indicating various degrees of disagreement. The new correlations were then proposed which fit with experimental data very well. The study presented herein provides a useful approach to evaluate the change of the permeability of fibrous porous media as a function of its compression. It will be valuable for examining fluid flow in fibrous porous media where the permeability is difficult to be measured directly. This kind of porous media widely exists in biological systems. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.