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Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of GMZ bentonite pellet mixtures

Abstract : Bentonite pellet mixtures are considered as one of the candidate sealing materials for deep geological disposals of radioactive waste. One of the particularities of this material is the initial heterogeneous distribution of pellets and porosity within the mixture, leading to complex hydro-mechanical behaviour. In this paper, the hydro-mechanical properties of GMZ bentonite pellet mixtures were investigated in the laboratory by carrying out water retention tests on pellet mixtures under constant-volume condition and single pellets under free swelling condition, as well as a infiltration test on a column specimen of pellet mixture. In the infiltration test, the relative humidity and radial swelling pressure were monitored at five heights, the axial swelling pressure was also recorded. The instantaneous profile method was applied to determine the unsaturated hydraulic conductivities. Results show that, in high suction range (> 10 MPa) the water retention curve of pellet mixture under constant-volume condition was comparable to that of a single pellet under free swelling condition, while in low suction range (< 10 MPa) the latter exhibits a much higher water retention capacity. Due to clogging of large pores, the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity decreases as suction decreases to around 25 MPa. However, with further suction decrease, the hydraulic conductivity increases continuously until the value at saturated state, as in the case of most unsaturated soils. The radial swelling pressure at different heights develops with local sudden increase and decrease, which was attributed to local rearrangement of pellets upon wetting. By contrast, as the axial swelling pressure was measured on the global surface of the specimen, it develops in a more regular fashion.
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https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03045909
Contributeur : Yu-Jun Cui <>
Soumis le : mardi 8 décembre 2020 - 11:11:08
Dernière modification le : lundi 11 janvier 2021 - 13:47:09

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Zhang-Rong Liu, Yu-Jun Cui, Wei-Min Ye, Bao Chen, Qiong Wang, et al.. Investigation of the hydro-mechanical behaviour of GMZ bentonite pellet mixtures. Acta Geotechnica, Springer Verlag, 2020, 15 (10), pp.2865-2875. ⟨10.1007/s11440-020-00976-y⟩. ⟨hal-03045909⟩

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