Experimental and modeling study of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluid flow in pore network micromodels

Christian L. Perrin, P. M J Tardy, Ken S. Sorbie, John C. Crawshaw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    88 Citations (Scopus)


    The in situ rheology of polymeric solutions has been studied experimentally in etched silicon micromodels which are idealizations of porous media. The rectangular channels in these etched networks have dimensions typical of pore sizes in sandstone rocks. Pressure drop/flow rate relations have been measured for water and non-Newtonian hydrolyzed-polyacrylamide (HPAM) solutions in both individual straight rectangular capillaries and in networks of such capillaries. Results from these experiments have been analyzed using pore-scale network modeling incorporating the non-Newtonian fluid mechanics of a Carreau fluid. Quantitative agreement is seen between the experiments and the network calculations in the Newtonian and shear-thinning flow regions demonstrating that the 'shift factor,' a, can be calculated a priori. Shear-thickening behavior was observed at higher flow rates in the micromodel experiments as a result of elastic effects becoming important and this remains to be incorporated in the network model. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)542-550
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Colloid and Interface Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006


    • Carreau model
    • HPAM
    • Micromodel
    • Non-Newtonian rheology
    • Pore network modeling
    • Rectangular capillary
    • Shear thinning


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