Testing Mercury Porosimetry with 3D Printed Porosity Models

Monday, 15 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Franciszek Hasiuk1, Robert P Ewing1 and Qinhong Hu2, (1)Iowa State University, Ames, IA, United States, (2)University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX, United States
Mercury intrusion porosimetry is one of the most widely used techniques to study the porous nature of a geological and man-made materials. In the geosciences, it is commonly used to describe petroleum reservoir and seal rocks as well as to grade aggregates for the design of asphalt and portland cement concretes. It's wide utility stems from its ability to characterize a wide range of pore throat sizes (from nanometers to around a millimeter). The fundamental physical model underlying mercury intrusion porosimetry, the Washburn Equation, is based on the assumption that rock porosity can be described as a bundle of cylindrical tubes. 3D printing technology, also known as rapid prototyping, allows the construction of intricate and accurate models, exactly what is required to build models of rock porosity. We evaluate the applicability of the Washburn Equation by comparing properties (like porosity, pore and pore throat size distribution, and surface area) computed on digital porosity models (built from CT data, CAD designs, or periodic geometries) to properties measured via mercury intrusion porosimetry on 3D printed versions of the same digital porosity models.