Comptes Rendus
Measurement of the relative air permeability of compacted earth in the hygroscopic regime of saturation
Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 347 (2019) no. 12, pp. 912-919.

The hygroscopic behavior of earthen materials has been extensively studied in the past decades. However, while the air flow within their porous network may significantly affect the kinetics of vapor transfer and thus their hygroscopic performances, few studies have focused on its assessment. For that purpose, a key parameter would be the gas permeability of the material, and its evolution with the relative humidity of the air. Indeed, due to the sorption properties of earthen material, an evolution of the water content, and thus of relative permeability, are foreseeable if the humidity of in-pore air changes. To fill this gap, this paper presents the measurement of relative permeabilities of a compacted earth sample with a new experimental set-up. The air flow through the sample is induced with an air generator at controlled flow rate, temperature, and humidity. The sample geometry was chosen in order to reduce, as much as possible, its heterogeneity in water content, and the tests were realized for several flow rates. The results, which show the evolution of gas permeability with the relative humidity of the injected air and with the water content of the material, either in adsorption or in desorption, were eventually successfully compared to predictions of the well-known Corey's law.

Published online:
DOI: 10.1016/j.crme.2019.11.017
Keywords: Earthen materials, Relative permeability, Steady-state, Darcy's law, Vapor advection

Antonin Fabbri 1; Noha Al Haffar 1; Fionn McGregor 1

1 LTDS, UMR 5513 CNRS, ENTPE, 69518 Vaulx-en-Velin, France
     author = {Antonin Fabbri and Noha Al Haffar and Fionn McGregor},
     title = {Measurement of the relative air permeability of compacted earth in the hygroscopic regime of saturation},
     journal = {Comptes Rendus. M\'ecanique},
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Antonin Fabbri; Noha Al Haffar; Fionn McGregor. Measurement of the relative air permeability of compacted earth in the hygroscopic regime of saturation. Comptes Rendus. Mécanique, Volume 347 (2019) no. 12, pp. 912-919. doi : 10.1016/j.crme.2019.11.017.

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