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MEMBRANES

Polymer microfiltration membranes are difficult structures to simulate. Their pore morphology is amorphous, which makes process-based modeling techniques much more difficult to employ. Additionally, many of the membranes are anisotropic and asymmetric (terminology used in the membrane industry to denote a structure that varies with depth into the membrane).

Currently, we are using a simulated annealing algorithm to generate voxel images directly. An example of a simulated asymmetric membrane is shown in the right (note the tighter pore structure in the lower half of the membrane). A range of statistical parameters are used to characterize the target structure, and the algorithm runs much more efficiently than previous generation algorithms, which enables us to create reasonable large, three-dimensional structures. The voxelized data sets can be used to create network representations of the membrane or to perform flow simulation directly.

 

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Cain Department of Chemical Engineering
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803