Materials Science and Engineering MS Thesis Defense: Amir Ibrahim

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MS Thesis Defense
Unraveling the Role of Asymmetry in Structural Porous Media on the Growth of Fluid Fingers

Amir Ibrahim
Materials Science and Engineering MS Candidate
School of Chemistry and Materials Science, RIT


Instabilities at fluid-fluid interfaces are ubiquitous in porous media, even at small flow rates. The growth of fluid fingers during fluid-fluid immiscible displacement in a porous medium results in partial saturation of the medium, and inefficiency in displacement has a tremendous economic impact on industries such as oil recovery, chemical reactors, and water filtration. In this study, we demonstrate that an inherent asymmetry in the structure of a porous medium controls the development of fluid fingers due to instabilities at fluid interfaces. We construct a 2D porous medium consisting of an array of triangles using soft lithography to investigate the displacement of air by water. Utilizing optical microscopy and precise control of the injection pressure, we illustrate that the direction of injection with respect to the orientation of the triangles (apex vs. base) dictates the development of fluid fingers at the interface. At a critical injection pressure, we observe a uniform displacement of air in the apex direction, while a distinct fluid finger grows when injecting water in the opposite direction (base of the triangle). In this research, we demonstrate that the asymmetry of a porous medium controls the first-order instability at air-water interfaces, leading to the development of fluid fingers.

Speaker Bio:
Amir started attending RIT in the fall of 2019, as an undergraduate student in the Science Exploration program, directed by Dr. Mills and aided by Dr. Mahrt-Washington. He continued as a Physics BS undergraduate, and in 2021 advanced into the Materials Science & Engineering BS/MS under the supervision of Dr. Parsa. Amir will start his career at Northrop Grumman as an Electrical Engineer after graduation.

Intended Audience:
Undergraduates, graduates, experts. Those with interest in the topic.

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Alina Herzog
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When and Where
February 19, 2024
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Room/Location: 3420

Open to the Public

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