Three Pressures in Porous Media

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In a thermodynamic setting for a single phase (usually fluid), the thermodynamically defined pressure, involving the change in energy with respect to volume, is often assumed to be equal to the physically measurable pressure, related to the trace of the stress tensor. This assumption holds under certain conditions such as a small rate of deformation tensor for a fluid. For a two-phase porous medium, an additional thermodynamic pressure has been previously defined for each phase, relating the change in energy with respect to volume fraction. Within the framework of Hybrid Mixture Theory and hence the Coleman and Noll technique of exploiting the entropy inequality, we show how these three macroscopic pressures (the two thermodynamically defined pressures and the pressure relating to the trace of the stress tensor) are related and discuss the physical interpretation of each of them. In the process, we show how one can convert directly between different combinations of independent variables without re-exploiting the entropy inequality. The physical interpretation of these three pressures is investigated by examining four media: a single solid phase, a porous solid saturated with a fluid which has negligible physico-chemical interaction with the solid phase, a swelling porous medium with a non-interacting solid phase, such as well-layered clay, and a swelling porous medium with an interacting solid phase such as swelling polymers.

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