A team of physicists headed by Prof. Rudolf Hilfer at the Institute for Computational Physics (ICP) of the University Stuttgart has established a world record in the field of three-dimensional imaging of porous materials.
The scientists have generated the largest and most precise three-dimensional image of the pore structure of sandstone. The image was generated within a project of the Simulation Technology Cluster of Excellence, and contains more than 35 trillion (a number with thirteen digits) voxels.
It allows now to study the relation between microstructure and physical properties of porous rocks with unprecedented accuracy. Sandstones and porous rocks are of paramount importance for applications such as enhanced oil recovery, carbon dioxide sequestration or groundwater management.
In three-dimensional imaging one discretizes spatial structures similar to digital photographs. Three-dimensional image elements are called voxels – analogous to pixels for two-dimensional digital photos. The three-dimensional ICP-images systematically resolve the microstructure of a cubic sample of Fontainebleau sandstone over three decades from submillimeter to submicron scales.
The microstructure of sandstones is important for the hydraulic properties of many oil reservoirs and thus for efficient production of hydrocarbons. The largest three-dimensional image, that the physicists around Prof. Hilfer have generated, contains 32768 cubed, or 35184372088832, voxels.
For comparison: Medical magnetic resonance images of the human contain roughly 720 million voxel. Even state of the art 3d-images in science and engineering contain only up to 20 billion voxels. Expressed in digital photos a medical image thus corresponds to only 72 photos. The largest ICP-image, however, with 35 trilion voxels amounts to a stack of 35 million such digital photographs.
"This world record is important for the physics of porous materials, because it allows for the first time to investigate extremely complex microstructures as a function of resolution", says Hilfer. The microstructure of a porous material determines its elastic, plastic, mechanical, electrical, magnetic, thermal, rheological and hydraulic properties. Inversely, physicists can infer information about the microstructure from measuring such physical properties.
Until now it was not possible to image a sample of several centimetres with a resolution of several hundred nanometres. "To achieve this size and accuracy would require several years of beam time at a particle accelerator such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble." explains Hilfer. His team has therefore chosen a different approach. Firstly, the scientists developed theories and methods that allow to compare and to calibrate microstructures. Then they invented algorithms and data structures that allow generating computer models of sufficient size and accuracy. These models were finally digitized and carefully calibrated against real rock samples.
For further information contact Prof. Rudolf Hilfer, Institute for Computational Physics, phone: +49 (0) 711 685-67607, e-mail: email@example.com
Andrea Mayer-Grenu | idw
The TU Ilmenau develops tomorrow’s chip technology today
27.04.2017 | Technische Universität Ilmenau
Five developments for improved data exploitation
19.04.2017 | Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH, DFKI
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences