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Analytic modelling of drying of porous materials

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image of Mathematical Engineering in Industry

Recent experimental data by Pel has revealed the spatial and temporal structure of the moisture content during the drying process within building materials such as bricks. A simple model of the water motion is presented, guided by the observed behaviour, which allows for non-linear diffusion within the brick and a mass transfer coefficient to represent the moisture transfer between the external air current over the brick. An approximate analytic solution to the model is developed, giving the moisture profiles evolving with time. This gives insight into the different phases of the process, which consists of a rapid decrease in the moisture content in a relatively uniform manner, followed by the development of a drying front which moves with constant speed into the brick. The analytic results compare very well to the numerical solution of the equations and the experimental results.


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