What is the PML?
The Porous Media Lab (PML) at the University of Stuttgart was established by Prof. Holger Steeb in 2015. It is a shared laboratory for researchers at the University of Stuttgart who are interested in the characterization of the coupled electro-thermo-hydro-chemo-mechanical properties of various kinds of porous materials.
The PML as a shared laboratory facility unifies a broad range of interesting research fields which mostly correlate with porous media. The outstanding image-based characterization possibilities through microfluidic investigations (see Microfluidics Lab) or µXRCT scanning (see X-Ray Computed Tomography (XRCT)) allow us to obtain insights into phenomena occurring on the micrometer scale. An understanding of the physical, partially even time-dependent processes on this scale is the key ingredient for developing further knowledge with regard to porous media. One must not leave the rather technical than scientific, but indispensable sample preparation step aside. Therefore, the PML also includes devices to prepare porous or crystalline rocks and to fabricate polymer specimens, cf. Specimen Preparation Lab. Another application field of the PML lies in the observation of macroscopic material behavior: In the Granular Media Lab as well as in the Rock Physics Lab, there are several testing facilities to measure and process different physical quantities of interest. Last but not least, the Rheology Lab allows for experimental setups using soft materials like polymers under controllable temperature and humidity conditions.