Structural optimization of porous media for fast and controlled capillary flows

D. Shou, Jintu Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 American Physical Society.A general quantitative model of capillary flow in homogeneous porous media with varying cross-sectional sizes is presented. We optimize the porous structure for the minimization of the penetration time under global constraints. Programmable capillary flows with constant volumetric flow rate and linear evolution of flow distance to time are also obtained. The controlled innovative flow behaviors are derived based on a dynamic competition between capillary force and viscous resistance. A comparison of dynamic transport on the basis of the present design with Washburn's equation is presented. The regulation and maximization of flow velocity in porous materials is significant for a variety of applications including biomedical diagnostics, oil recovery, microfluidic transport, and water management of fabrics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number053021
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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