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Impact of excavation damage on the thermo-hydro-mechanical properties of natural Boom Clay

Abstract : Boom Clay has been considered as a potential host-rock for the geological radioactive waste disposal in Belgium. In this context, it is important to well understand the thermo-hydro-mechanical behaviour of this clay around the disposal galleries. In this study, the effect of excavation damage on the thermo-hydro-mechanical properties of natural Boom Clay around the Connecting gallery (excavated in 2002) in the Mol underground Research Laboratory HADES (High-Activity Disposal Experimental Site) was investigated. Several samples taken from a horizontal borehole drilled in July 2012 were tested. The thermal conductivity in three different orientations (perpendicular, parallel, and 45° to the bedding plane) was measured using the needle probe method. The results show a cross-anisotropy of natural Boom Clay and an impact of the excavation damage on the thermal property of samples near the gallery. To further investigate the anisotropy behaviour, bender element tests were carried out under unconfined conditions to determine the small-strain shear modulus also in three different orientations. The obtained results confirm the anisotropic behaviour of Boom Clay. Moreover, the evolution of small-strain shear modulus with the distance from the gallery axis (r) was found to be similar to that of thermal conductivity: the values in the zone near the gallery are lower than those in the far field. From these experimental data, an extent of the excavation damaged zone (EDZ) of 4 m from the connecting gallery axis was determined. Further investigations on the microstructure of several samples taken at different distances r by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) methods were carried out. Macro-pores of diameter ≥5 μm were identified in the samples near the gallery. The identified macro-pores were related to the effect of excavation damage, and a damage variable was thus defined, allowing a damage model to be developed. The values of the two model parameters have been determined from the observed relationship between macro-porosity and thermal conductivity. Comparisons between the predicted and experimental results in terms of small strain shear modulus and hydraulic conductivity show a reasonable agreement.
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Soumis le : mercredi 25 avril 2018 - 17:10:02
Dernière modification le : samedi 15 janvier 2022 - 03:51:32
Archivage à long terme le : : lundi 24 septembre 2018 - 23:27:32


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Linh-Quyen Dao, Yu-Jun Cui, Anh Minh A.M. Tang, Jean-Michel Pereira, Xiang-Ling Li, et al.. Impact of excavation damage on the thermo-hydro-mechanical properties of natural Boom Clay. Engineering Geology, 2015, 195, pp.196-205. ⟨10.1016/j.enggeo.2015.06.011⟩. ⟨hal-01271302⟩



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