Analyzing multi-phase flow in 3D printed micro-models Grant uri icon


  • In a world where energy demands are increasing and resources are depleting, gaining better insights into fluid saturation distributions and transport mechanisms within hydrocarbon reservoirs at the pore scale will be critical to maximizing future production of oil and gas globally. This research project is based on understanding multi-phase flow in porous media, which will be done through analyzing the flow in transparent micro-models fabricated using 3D printing tools. These micro-models will facilitate the direct visualization of drainage and imbibition within porous media through the use of image visualization techniques which include the use of thin-section micrographs, micro CT orthoslices, and conventional digital photographs. An open-source toolkit, written in MATLAB language, will be used to generate the micro-models, and through this research, we hope to demonstrate the toolkitâ s capabilities. Orthoslices of scanned rocks (Berea sandstone) will be cropped and segmented and then used to generate watertight 3D meshes of micro-models which will then be 3D printed. The availability of such a toolset will act as a major enabler for community research in porous media transport phenomena, allowing experimental pore networks to be generated rapidly and cost-effectively using readily available additive manufacturing technologies.

date/time interval

  • 2020 - 2021