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Physical and microstructural impacts on the hydro-mechanical behaviour of Ypresian clays

Abstract : An experimental characterisation on Ypresian clays that are considered as one of the potential geological host formations for the radioactive waste disposal in Belgium has been carried out. Physical, microstructural, hydraulic and mechanical properties were investigated on the samples taken from a cored borehole at Kallo in the Northern Belgium at 290-400 m depth. Identification tests, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) and oedometer tests were performed. The results obtained showed that Ypresian clays are highly plastic (large values of consistence limits, specific surface, blue ethylene value) and of relatively low density, in relation to their high swelling clay content. In addition, their physical and mineralogical properties present significant variations over depth. Two microstructural arrangements, matrix-type and aggregate-type respectively for the depths with higher and lower swelling content, were identified. The former exhibits bi-modal porosity while the latter shows a common deep sediment mono-modal porosity but with a larger dominant pore size. The permeability of the clays with matrix-type microstructure is significantly lower than that with aggregate-type despite their higher void ratio. Moreover, these microstructural features result in the initial unsaturated state of Ypresian clays sample. Typical hysteretic unloading-reloading loops are identified on both low- and high-pressure oedometer tests that can be explained by a microstructure-based swelling stress concept. The variation of this swelling stress with the corresponding initial void ratio over depth perfectly reflects the physical variations and is consistent with that of swelling stress determined from common swelling tests. The yield stress ratios are slightly higher than the over-consolidation ratio, suggesting negligible effects of diagenesis, cambering and valley bulging etc. The variations of compression index, compression and swelling slopes are consistent with the physical and microstructural variations.
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Soumis le : lundi 23 février 2015 - 11:30:27
Dernière modification le : samedi 15 janvier 2022 - 03:52:57
Archivage à long terme le : : mercredi 27 mai 2015 - 09:41:20


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X.P. Nguyen, Yu-Jun Cui, Anh Minh A.M. Tang, X.L. Li, L. Wouters. Physical and microstructural impacts on the hydro-mechanical behaviour of Ypresian clays. Applied Clay Science, Elsevier, 2014, 102, pp.172-185. ⟨10.1016/j.clay.2014.09.038⟩. ⟨hal-01119445⟩



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