Two-Phase Flow and the Capillarity Phenomenon in Porous Solids – A Continuum Thermomechanical Approach

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Two-phase flow and capillarity phenomenon in porous solids, well known in physics and engineering, are treated from a rigorous continuum thermomechanical point of view for the first time. A ternary model, consisting of a porous solid phase, a liquid phase, and a gas phase, is investigated within the framework of thermodynamics. The main result of the evaluation of the entropy principle turns out to be that the interaction forces between the solid, gas, and liquid phases are dependent on the free Helmholtz energy functions of the corresponding phases and on the gradient of the liquid density. The classical result for the driving volume force for raising a water column in a narrow tube against the force of gravity is contained in the general investigation.

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