Gaseous flow through heterogeneous, partially connected networks of pipes
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Simulations of flow of an ideal gas through heterogeneous simple cubic pipe networks with different pipe radius distributions and variable bond coordination numbers were performed. Networks with monomodal and bimodal radius distributions were constructed. A very wide range of Knudsen numbers was achieved. Flow simulations of purely viscous gases and incompressible liquids were also carried out for comparison. The permeability to gas in the purely viscous regime was larger than the permeability to an incompressible liquid. Based on a variety of computational tests, this result was likely not a numerical artifact. The simulated macroscopic flow behavior differed from the underlying single pipe model, depending on the radius distribution, network connectivity and magnitude of the externally applied pressure gradient, and was compatible with the Klinkenberg analysis only when the maximum Knudsen number used in each simulation was lower than 1. In this condition, the Klinkenberg coefficient was nearly proportional to the inverse of the network hydraulic radius while the effect of the radius distribution was weak and that of the network connectivity essentially negligible. The bimodal simulations displayed a typical percolation behavior, with the Klinkenberg coefficient remaining constant as long as the large pipe population was connected.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
Nature Publishing Group
Bernabé, Yves. “Gaseous Flow through Heterogeneous, Partially Connected Networks of Pipes.” Scientific Reports 8, 1 (October 2018): 14956 © 2018 The Author(s)
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