Experimental and numerical analysis of imbibition processes in a corrugated capillary tube

Junjie Wang, Amgad Salama, Jisheng Kou

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Spontaneous imbibition is a capillary-driven flow phenomenon that exists widely in nature and is important for several industries. Recently, Tolman length has been introduced to improve the classical Lucas-Washburn imbibition model, in order to alleviate the deviations in calculating the capillary pressure. However, imbibition experiments to measure Tolman length have been scarce. In addition, the fluid-wall friction has a considerable impact on the imbibition process, while it is often ignored. In this work, imbibition experiments under specific conditions are carried out to measure the values of Tolman length, and the fluid-wall friction is taken into consideration in the equilibrium equation. The water uptake model in  fractures is adopted to make corrections to the rise of water level. The experimental results show that Tolman length decreases first and then rises with the increasing curvature radius of liquid-gas interface. The data reveal that the Tolman length-based model can better describe the real imbibition processes than the classical Lucas-Washburn model.

Cited as: Wang, J., Salama, A., Kou, J. Experimental and numerical analysis of imbibition processes in a corrugated capillary tube. Capillarity, 2022, 5(5): 83-90. https://doi.org/10.46690/capi.2022.05.01


Lucas-Washburn equation, imbibition model, Tolman length, capillarity, fluid-wall friction

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