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5/16/2017  |   9:35 AM - 10:00 AM   |  2

Validation of a 3D pore scale prediction model for the thermal conductivity of porous building materials

Porous materials find frequent use as insulation materials in numerous thermal applications, including the automotive or aerospace industry, but also in the building industry to reduce the heating energy demand of buildings. Various studies have already indicated the strong relation between the material’s macroscale thermal conductivity and it’s pore scale parameters (porosity, pore size distribution, matrix connectivity etc.). A correct understanding of the impact of these microstructural parameters could hence significantly accelerate the development of improved insulation materials. Recently, we presented a newly developed 3D model framework for simulating the heat transfer through porous structures at the microscale. The model is based on 3D voxel images of the material, allowing to perform simulations on both real materials characterized via micro-CT scanning and virtual materials generated with random generation algorithms. This study presents the first validation results of the model framework with experimental measurements performed on a sintered glass filter. Micro-CT scans are used alongside experimental measurement of the porosity and pore size distribution to characterize the material’s microstructure. Thermal simulations are performed on the µCT scans of the sample using the model framework and are compared with experimental measurements of the thermal conductivity. The whole procedure is repeated several times, replacing the air inside the pore space with liquids having different thermal conductivities, hence enlarging the validation set. The model shows to be in good agreement with the experimental results. Possible causes for discrepancies are discussed, along with future improvements.

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Wouter Van De Walle (POC,Primary Presenter,Author),;
Hans Janssen (Co-Author),;

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