Pore network study of bubble growth by vaporisation in a porous medium heated laterally

Abstract : We present experimental and numerical investigations of vapour phase growth in a two-dimensional model porous medium heated laterally. Visualisation experiments reveal the existence of a heat pipe effect within the porous medium when a sufficiently high temperature gradient develops along the porous medium. The bubble growth is characterised by a pattern transition between an invasion percolation (IP) pattern in a first phase of the growth and an invasion percolation in a destabilising gradient (IPDG) at later times. It is shown that this transition corresponds at the pore scale to a transition between an invasion scenario where only one pore is invaded at each step of the invasion and a multiple pore invasion scenario. The IPDG pattern is characterised by the development of a thin vapour finger, which can explain premature vapour breakthroughs. This type of vapour finger cannot be simulated accurately using traditional models based on the continuum approach to porous media.
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Clément Louriou, Marc Prat. Pore network study of bubble growth by vaporisation in a porous medium heated laterally. International Journal of Thermal Sciences, Elsevier, 2012, vol. 52, pp. 8-21. ⟨10.1016/j.ijthermalsci.2011.09.008⟩. ⟨hal-00925602⟩

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