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Journal of Porous Media
IF: 1.061 5-Year IF: 1.151 SJR: 0.504 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.58

ISSN Print: 1091-028X
ISSN Online: 1934-0508

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Journal of Porous Media

DOI: 10.1615/JPorMedia.v14.i9.40
pages 791-804

MODELING TORTUOSITY IN THIN FIBROUS POROUS MEDIA USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

Rahul Vallabh
North Carolina State University
Joel Ducoste
Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA
Abdel-Fattah Seyam
Collge of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA
Pamela Banks-Lee
Collge of Textiles, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695, USA

ABSTRACT

Eulerian and Lagrangian computational models to predict tortuosity of fibrous porous media were developed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The first computation model involved an intermediate step in which air permeability of fibrous porous media was simulated using CFD. Three-dimensional geometries used in these models were generated in ANSYS to simulate fibrous porous microstructure. The proposed computational models were found to be in good agreement with numerical models available in the literature when predicting the relationship between tortuosity and porosity of fibrous media. The proposed models also showed that transverse flow through a fibrous porous media becomes less tortuous with increasing porosity, with the tortuosity value approaching 1 at the upper limits of porosity. While other models found in the literature have expressed tortuosity as a function of porosity only, the proposed computational models show that in addition to the porosity other structural parameters such as fiber diameter and fiberweb thickness have a significant influence on tortuosity. Within the range of small fiberweb thickness, tortuosity was found to asymptotically increase with increasing fiberweb thickness.


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