Dr. SaMeH S. Ahmed

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

Measuring porosity


Measuring porosity



Several methods can be employed to measure porosity:

  • Direct methods (determining the bulk volume of the porous sample, and then determining the volume of the skeletal material with no pores (pore volume = total volume − material volume).
  • Optical methods (e.g., determining the area of the material versus the area of the pores visible under the microscope). The "areal" and "volumetric" porosities are equal for porous media with random structure.[4]
  • Computed tomography method (using industrial CT scanning to create a 3D rendering of external and internal geometry, including voids. Then implementing a defect analysis utilizing computer software)
  • Imbibition methods,[4] i.e., immersion of the porous sample, under vacuum, in a fluid that preferentially wets the pores.
    • Water saturation method (pore volume = total volume of water − volume of water left after soaking).
  • Water evaporation method (pore volume = (weight of saturated sample − weight of dried sample)/density of water)
  • Mercury intrusion porosimetry (several non-mercury intrusion techniques have been developed due to toxicological concerns, and the fact that mercury tends to form amalgams with several metals and alloys).
  • Gas expansion method.[4] A sample of known bulk volume is enclosed in a container of known volume. It is connected to another container with a known volume which is evacuated (i.e., near vacuum pressure). When a valve connecting the two containers is opened, gas passes from the first container to the second until a uniform pressure distribution is attained. Using ideal gas law, the volume of the pores is calculated as
V_V = V_T-V_a-V_b {P_2 over {P_2-P_1}},

where

VV is the effective volume of the pores,
VT is the bulk volume of the sample,
Va is the volume of the container containing the sample,
Vb is the volume of the evacuated container,
P1 is the initial pressure in the initial pressure in volume Va and VV, and
P2 is final pressure present in the entire system.
The porosity follows straightforwardly by its proper definition
phi = frac{V_V}{V_T}.
Note that this method assumes that gas communicates between the pores and the surrounding volume. In practice, this means that the pores must not be closed cavities.
  • Thermoporosimetry and cryoporometry. A small crystal of a liquid melts at a lower temperature than the bulk liquid, as given by the Gibbs-Thomson equation. Thus if a liquid is imbibed into a porous material, and frozen, the melting temperature will provide information on the pore-size distribution. The detection of the melting can be done by sensing the transient heat flows during phase-changes using differential scanning calorimetry - (DSC thermoporometry),[5] measuring the quantity of mobile liquid using nuclear magnetic resonance - (NMR cryoporometry)[6] or measuring the amplitude of neutron scattering from the imbibed crystalline or liquid phases - (ND cryoporometry).

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For CE 370 students : Your second midterm exam will be on Wednesday 27 March 2019. In the surveying lab

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Mining Engineering


Mining engineering is an engineering discipline that involves practice, theory, science, technology, and the application of extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. Mining engineering also includes processing minerals for additional value.

Environmental Engineering


Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for    environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land. And, they develop new and improved means to protect the environment.

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Course 2018/19-2


  1. Surveying 1 CE 370
  2. Surveying II  CE 371
  3. Senior Design II  (round 6) CE 499




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Member of the Editorial Board: " Journal of Water Resources and Ocean Sciences"  2013 till now

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Participating in The Third International Conference on Water, Energy and Environment,(ICWEE) 2019 - American University of Sharjah, UAE 26-28 March 2019 with a Paper and Poster

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2nd Midterm Exams on 3/4/2019

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Surveying I

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CE 371 Course

Surveying II

2018-2019-2




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First midterm exam


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CE 474 Course

Photogrammetry

2018-2019-1



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Second Best paper from Senior Design Projects in 2015

Paper title:

Evaluation of Groundwater Quality Parameters using Multivariate Statistics- a case Study of Majmaah, KSA

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Abdullah A. Alzeer

Husam K. Almubark

Maijd M. Almotairi

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Civil and Environmental Engineering Department
College of Engineering, Majmaah University
Majmaah, P.O. 66, 11952, KSA

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