Pretty Porous

Data generation

Holger Steeb, Professor at the University of Stuttgart and Principal Investigator within SFB 1313 (the Collaborative Research Center on porous media), and the Cluster of Excellence SimTech, gives us an insight into experimenting with porous media. He and his team show us, how important experiments are to better understand hydro-mechanical properties of porous materials in order to develop mathematical models, which can be used in simulations and for technical applications. In the “Porous Media Lab” the team is aiming to make porous media transparent by using high resolution x-ray computer tomography. Based on CT-scans, the pore space can be visualized, characterized and segmented for subsequent direct numerical simulations.

Video SimTech

From the experiment to the simulation: How the “porous medium” asphalt becomes visible

Asphalt experiment in the CT laboratory
Credits: Universität Stuttgart / Uli Regenscheit

From the experiment to the simulation
Credits: University of Stuttgart / Holger Steeb

Do we have holes in asphalt? “Holes“ are also denoted as “pores” by porous media scientists. The effective material properties of asphalt and further porous materials strongly depend on the properties of these pores. Unfortunately, we are not able to classify the pore space as e.g. asphalt is an intransparent material. Therefore, trying to answer the question about “holes in asphalt” anyway, we are using X-Ray Computed Tomography, a technique widely used in medicine, to make asphalt transparent and to characterize the pore space.  Afterwards, high-resolution 3D CT-scans are for us the image-based sources for further investigations, i.e. multi-scale simulations for the determination of effective physical properties of porous media.