Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Pore-scale numerical investigation of pressure drop behaviour across open-cell metal foams

de Carvalho, T. P.; Morvan, Herve; Hargreaves, D. M.; Oun, Hatem; Kennedy, A.


T. P. de Carvalho

Herve Morvan

Hatem Oun

A. Kennedy


The development and validation of a grid-based pore-scale numerical modelling methodology applied to five different commercial metal foam samples is described. The 3-D digital representation of the foam geometry was obtained by the use of X-ray microcomputer tomography scans, and macroscopic properties such as porosity, specific surface and pore size distribution are directly calculated from tomographic data. Pressure drop measurements were performed on all the samples under a wide range of flow velocities, with focus on the turbulent flow regime. Airflow pore-scale simulations were carried out solving the continuity and Navier–Stokes equations using a commercial finite volume code. The feasibility of using Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes models to account for the turbulence within the pore space was evaluated. Macroscopic transport quantities are calculated from the pore-scale simulations by averaging. Permeability and Forchheimer coefficient values are obtained from the pressure gradient data for both experiments and simulations and used for validation. Results have shown that viscous losses are practically negligible under the conditions investigated and pressure losses are dominated by inertial effects. Simulations performed on samples with varying thickness in the flow direction showed the pressure gradient to be affected by the sample thickness. However, as the thickness increased, the pressure gradient tended towards an asymptotic value.


de Carvalho, T. P., Morvan, H., Hargreaves, D. M., Oun, H., & Kennedy, A. (2017). Pore-scale numerical investigation of pressure drop behaviour across open-cell metal foams. Transport in Porous Media, 117(2), 311-336.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 8, 2017
Online Publication Date Mar 15, 2017
Publication Date 2017-03
Deposit Date Apr 7, 2017
Publicly Available Date Apr 7, 2017
Journal Transport in Porous Media
Print ISSN 0169-3913
Electronic ISSN 1573-1634
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 117
Issue 2
Pages 311-336
Keywords Metal foam, CFD, Pore-scale, Tomography, Pressure drop
Public URL
Publisher URL


Pore art%3A10.1007%2Fs11242-017-0835-y.pdf (2.3 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

You might also like

Downloadable Citations