Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 44, Issue 5, pp 5027–5042 | Cite as

Compressibility of Compacted Clays Mixed with a Wide Range of Bentonite for Engineered Barriers

  • Usama Khalid
  • Zia ur RehmanEmail author
  • Chencong Liao
  • Khalid Farooq
  • Hassan Mujtaba
Research Article - Civil Engineering


Compacted clay–bentonite mixtures are often used as compacted blocks and landfills in high-level radioactive waste repositories and clay liners, respectively. A better understanding of their compressibility behaviour is essential to guarantee the disposal safety. In this study, mixtures of clays and bentonite are used to investigate the compressibility and compaction behaviour. Three natural clays were selected with different physical characteristics, and clay–bentonite mixtures were prepared by mixing the bentonite content up to 50%. A series of standard compaction tests and consolidation tests were performed in the laboratory; the samples for the consolidation test were prepared at the optimum moisture contents and maximum dry unit weights. With increasing bentonite content, the liquid limit, plasticity index, optimum moisture content, initial void ratio and compression index of natural clays increase and maximum dry unit weight and yield stress decrease. It was observed that the effect of bentonite on geotechnical characteristics pronounced when bentonite content exceeded 10%. Correlations were also proposed to estimate the compression characteristics and compression curves of compacted clays using three physical parameters such as the initial void ratio, optimum moisture content and maximum dry unit weight.


Clay–bentonite mixtures Compressibility Yield stress Initial void ratio Compaction characteristics Correlation models 

List of symbols


Bentonite content


Compression index


Void ratio


Initial void ratio


Void ratio at 100 kPa pressure


Void ratio at 1000 kPa pressure


Void ratio at liquid limit


Extended intrinsic compression line


Grain-size distribution


Specific gravity


High-level radioactive waste


Plasticity index


Void index proposed by Burland [49]


Void index proposed for compacted clay–bentonite mixture


Intrinsic compression line


Normalized compacted compression line


Municipal solid waste


Optimum moisture content


Liquid limit


Natural moisture content


Plastic limit

\(\sigma _\mathrm{v}'\)

Effective consolidation pressure

\(\sigma _\mathrm{y}\)

Yield stress

\(\gamma _\mathrm{dmax}\)

Maximum dry unit weight


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Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Civil Engineering Department, State Key Laboratory of Ocean EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Civil Engineering DepartmentCOMSATS University IslamabadSahiwalPakistan
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of Engineering and TechnologyLahorePakistan

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