FAST, CHEAP, AND REPEATABLE TWO-PHASE FLOW EXPERIMENTS USING 3D PRINTED MICROFLUIDIC DEVICES
We present an experimental investigation into the ability of 3D printing to generate custom-designed micromodels accurately and repeatably down to a minimum pore throat size of 140 μm, which is representative of the pore-throats seen in coarse sandstones. Particle Image Velocimetry is used to compare the velocity map obtained from one-phase flow experiments in 3D printed micromodels with the map generated with direct numerical simulation (OpenFOAM software) and an accurate match is obtained. Furthermore, we use the 3D printed micromodel to investigate the dissolution of a trapped CO2 gas bubble in a single pore to observe the impact of the pore geometry on the dissolution rate of the bubble. This experimental work can be used to validate Direct Numerical Simulation models. Our investigation suggests that 3D printed micromodels can be used for fast and cheap prototyping of flow experiments, and to investigate the physics of two-phase systems, including the occurrence of snap-off events, the impact of viscosity ratio, and the effect of gas solubility in water.