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Conference Papers Year : 2017

Foam Flow Through a 2D Porous Medium: Evolution of the Bubble Size Distribution

Yves Méheust
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Géraud Baudouin
Isabelle Cantat
Benjamin Dollet


Foams have been used for decades as displacing fluids for EOR and aquifer remediation, and more recently as carriers of chemical amendments for remediation of the vadose zone. Bulk foams are shear-thinning fluids; but for foams with bubbles of order at least the typical pore size of the porous medium, the rheology cannot be described at the continuum scale, as viscous dissipation occurs mostly at the contact between soap films and solid walls. We have investigated the flow of an initially monodisperse foam through a transparent 2D porous medium[1]. The resulting complex flow phenomenology has been characterized quantitatively from optical measurements of the bubble dynamics. In addition to preferential flow path and local flow intermittency, we observe an irreversible evolution of the probability density function (PDF) for bubbles size as bubbles travel along the porous medium. This evolution is due to bubble fragmentation by lamella division, which is by far the dominant mechanism of film creation/destruction. We measure and characterize this evolution of the PDF as a function of the experimental parameters, and model it numerically based on a fragmentation equation, with excellent agreement. The model uses two ingredients obtained from the experimental data, namely the statistics of the bubble fragmentation rate and of the fragment size distributions[2]. It predicts a nearly-universal scaling of all PDFs as a function of the bubble area normalized by the initial mean bubble area. All the PDFs measured in various experiments, with different mean flow velocities, initial bubble sizes and foam qualities, collapse on a master distribution which is only dependent on the geometry of the medium. References: [1] B. Géraud, S. A. Jones, I. Cantat, B. Dollet & Y. Méheust (2016), WRR 52(2), 773-790. [2] B. Géraud, Y. Méheust, I. Cantat & B. Dollet (2017), Lamella division in a foam flowing through a two-dimensional porous medium: A model fragmentation process, PRL 118, 098003.
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insu-01734776 , version 1 (15-03-2018)


  • HAL Id : insu-01734776 , version 1


Yves Méheust, Géraud Baudouin, Isabelle Cantat, Benjamin Dollet. Foam Flow Through a 2D Porous Medium: Evolution of the Bubble Size Distribution . American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2017, Dec 2017, New Orleans, United States. pp.H43I-1772. ⟨insu-01734776⟩
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