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Permeability of packs of polydisperse hard spheres

Vasseur, Jérémie and Wadsworth, Fabian B. and Coumans, Jason P. and Dingwell, Donald B. (2021) 'Permeability of packs of polydisperse hard spheres.', Physical Review E, 103 (6).


The permeability of packs of spheres is important in a wide range of physical scenarios. Here, we create numerically generated random periodic domains of spheres that are polydisperse in size and use lattice-Boltzmann simulations of fluid flow to determine the permeability of the pore phase interstitial to the spheres. We control the polydispersivity of the sphere size distribution and the porosity across the full range from high porosity to a close packing of spheres. We find that all results scale with a Stokes permeability adapted for polydisperse sphere sizes. We show that our determination of the permeability of random distributions of spheres is well approximated by models for cubic arrays of spheres at porosities greater than ∼0.38, without any fitting parameters. Below this value, the Kozeny-Carman relationship provides a good approximation for dense, closely packed sphere packs across all polydispersivity.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the published article’s title, journal citation, and DOI.
Date accepted:27 May 2021
Date deposited:23 November 2021
Date of first online publication:25 June 2021
Date first made open access:23 November 2021

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