Film flow dominated simultaneous flow of two viscous incompressible fluids through a porous medium
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionFrontiers in Physics 2014, 2:1-9 10.3389/fphy.2014.00063
We present an experimental study of two-phase flow in a quasi-two-dimensional porous medium. The two phases, a water-glycerol solution and a commercial food grade rapeseed/canola oil, having an oil to water-glycerol viscosity ratio M = 1.3, are injected simultaneously into a Hele-Shaw cell with a mono-layer of randomly distributed glass beads. The two liquids are injected into the model from alternating point inlets. Initially, the porous model is filled with the water-glycerol solution. We observe that after an initial transient state, an overall static cluster configuration is obtained. While the oil is found to create a connected system spanning cluster, a large part of the water-glycerol clusters left behind the initial invasion front is observed to remain immobile throughout the rest of the experiment. This could suggest that the water-glycerol flow-dynamics is largely dominated by film flow. The flow pathways are thus given through the dynamics of the initial invasion. This behavior is quite different from that observed in systems with large viscosity differences between the two fluids, and where compressibility plays an important part of the process.