On Pore Space Partitioning in Relation to Network Model Building for Fluid Flow Computation in Porous Media

From microtomography to pore networks

E. Plougonven — D. Bernard — N. Combaret

CNRS, Université de BordeauxICMCB, Institut de Chimie de la Matière Condensée de Bordeaux87 avenue Dr A. Schweitzer33600 Pessac cedexFrance{plougonv, bernard, combaret}@icmcb-bordeaux.cnrs.fr

ABSTRACT. We present an improved method for generating a representative network model (NM) of a porous medium from the structure of its pore space. We differentiate the problem of positioning pore bodies (PB) and delimiting them via pore throats (PT). From a binary 3D microtomographic reconstruction of a porous material, we use the common watershed approach on the Euclidean distance map, examining several aspects in detail: the skeleton and the necessary pre-processing to remove digitization artefacts, the conversion to a graph that will support the NM, along with the post-processing needed to account for geometric features, delimitation of the PB by a watershed method and comparison to direct PT construction, and finally evaluation of the robustness of the NM generation by application on synthesized images of varying resolutions.


KEYWORDS: porous media, pore networks, skeletonization, x-ray microtomography

1. Introduction

Porous materials are studied in a wide variety of fields, such as Earth sciences, petrophysics, paper industry, metallurgy, etc. In these applications, pore scale fluid flow is of prime ...

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