Versatile and efficient pore network extraction method using marker-based watershed segmentation
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Obtaining structural information from tomographic images of porous materials is a critical component of porous media research. Extracting pore networks is particularly valuable since it enables pore network modeling simulations which can be useful for a host of tasks from predicting transport properties to simulating performance of entire devices. This work reports an efficient algorithm for extracting networks using only standard image analysis techniques. The algorithm was applied to several standard porous materials ranging from sandstone to fibrous mats, and in all cases agreed very well with established or known values for pore and throat sizes, capillary pressure curves, and permeability. In the case of sandstone, the present algorithm was compared to the network obtained using the current state-of-the-art algorithm, and very good agreement was achieved. Most importantly, the network extracted from an image of fibrous media correctly predicted the anisotropic permeability tensor, demonstrating the critical ability to detect key structural features. The highly efficient algorithm allows extraction on fairly large images of 5003 voxels in just over 200 s. The ability for one algorithm to match materials as varied as sandstone with 20% porosity and fibrous media with 75% porosity is a significant advancement. The source code for this algorithm is provided.
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Jeffrey Thomas Gostick (2017). Versatile and efficient pore network extraction method using marker-based watershed segmentation. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12831