Fabrication for and Flow Visualization in 2.5D Rock-Based Ceramic Micromodels

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Conference Proceeding

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A ceramic-based micromodel was fabricated with batching of green alumina ceramics mixed with polymer binders, extrusion of the green alumina tapes, and hot embossing of the green tapes with a metal mold. The metal mold fabricated using optical lithography of SU8 and electroforming of nickel contained 2.5D pore network geometry in 13 layers of a rock, Boise sandstone. The hot embossing process enabled the generation of the pore network geometries with a minimum feature size of 25 μm and for distinct formation of the 13 layers of the 2.5D pore geometry of the rock. The green ceramic micromodels were processed with solvent extraction, thermal debinding, and sintering. The sintered micromodels showed significant shrinkages at all directions of the micromodels, which were 17.6% in x, 17.5% in y, and 14.6% in z. The sintered, 2.5D rock-based ceramic micromodel was capped with a thin glass cover slide and used for flow visualization with a fluorescent dye and fluorescent nano-particles. The dye-filled micromodel showed good flow connectivity and fluorescence signal intensity dependence on depth. It was observed that the peak particle concentration close to the observation window and gradual decrease in particle concentration along the depth. The higher velocities were measured in the low flow resistance region with velocity variations along the depth. The microfabricated 2.5D ceramic micromodels will allow resistance to harsh experimental conditions such as high temperature and pressure, and opportunity for investigation of the complex flow patterns in 3D.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition

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