Oscillatory forcing of flow through porous media. Part 1. Steady flow

D. R. Graham, J. J.L. Higdon

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Oscillatory forcing of a porous medium may have a dramatic effect on the mean flow rate produced by a steady applied pressure gradient. The oscillatory forcing may excite nonlinear inertial effects leading to either enhancement or retardation of the mean flow. Here, in Part 1, we consider the effects of non-zero inertial forces on steady flows in porous media, and investigate the changes in the flow character arising from changes in both the strength of the inertial terms and the geometry of the medium. The steady-state Navier-Stokes equations are solved via a Galerkin finite element method to determine the velocity fields for simple two-dimensional models of porous media. Two geometric models are considered based on constricted channels and periodic arrays of circular cylinders. For both geometries, we observe solution multiplicity yielding both symmetric and asymmetric flow patterns. For the cylinder arrays, we demonstrate that inertial effects lead to anisotropy in the effective permeability, with the direction of minimum resistance dependent on the solid volume fraction. We identify nonlinear flow phenomena which might be exploited by oscillatory forcing to yield a net increase in the mean flow rate. In Part 2, we take up the subject of unsteady flows governed by the full time-dependent Navier-Stokes equations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-235
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Aug 25 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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