Heterogeneous porous structures for the fastest liquid absorption

Dahua Shou, Lin Ye, Jintu Fan

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Engineered porous materials, which have fast absorption of liquids under global constraints (e.g. volume, surface area, or cost of the materials), are useful in many applications including moisture management fabrics, medical wound dressings, paper-based analytical devices, liquid molding composites, etc.. The absorption in capillary tubes and porous media is driven by the surface tension of liquid, which is inversely proportional to the pore size. On the contrary, the ability of conduction (or permeability) of liquid in porous materials is linear with the square of pore size. Both mechanisms superimpose with each other leading to a possibility of the fastest absorption for a porous structure. In this work, we explore the flow behaviors for the fastest absorption using heterogeneous porous architectures, from two-portion tubes to two-layer porous media. The absorption time for filling up the voids in these porous materials is expressed in terms of pore size, height and porosity. It is shown that under the given height and void volume, these twocomponent porous structures with a negative gradient of pore size/porosity against the imbibition direction, have a faster absorption rate than controlled samples with uniform pore size/porosity. Particularly, optimal structural parameters including pore size, height and porosity are found for the minimum absorption time. The obtained results will be used as a priori for the design of porous structures with excellent water absorption and moisture management property in various fields.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFourth International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event4th International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, SMN 2013 - Gold Coast, QLD, Australia
Duration: 10 Jul 201312 Jul 2013


Conference4th International Conference on Smart Materials and Nanotechnology in Engineering, SMN 2013
CityGold Coast, QLD


  • fastest liquid absorption
  • heterogeneous arrangement
  • optimization
  • Porous structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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