Thermal Water Retention Characteristics of Compacted Bentonite
Compacted bentonites are popularly being considered as buffer or backfill material in high level nuclear waste repositories around the world. These bentonites may undergo various conditions including hydration from around geo-environmental water and heating by the radiation of the used fuel during its period of operation. Water retention properties of as-compacted Czech bentonite B75 with three initial dry densities (1.27 g/cm3, 1.60 g/cm3 and 1.90 g/cm3) and bentonite powders were investigated within temperature 20–80 °C at unconfined conditions. Vapor equilibrium method was used to control constant relative humidity. The influence of temperature on water retention properties was analyzed and discussed. Results show that the temperature decreased water retention capacity for all cases. The water retention capacity is lower at high temperature especially at lower suction. The temperature has more significant effect on drying path than wetting path. Furthermore, the volume swelling decreased with the increased temperature upon saturation. The hysteretic behavior decreased with the increase of temperature for all studied materials.
KeywordsBentonite Temperature Water retention capacity
Financial support by the research grant GACR 15-05935S of the Czech Science Foundation is greatly appreciated. This project receives funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014–2018 under grant agreement No 745942. The first author acknowledges support by the grant No. 846216 of the Charles University Grant Agency. The authors are grateful to the Centre of Experimental Geotechnics of Czech Technical University (prof. J. Pacovský, Dr. J. Svoboda, Dr. R. Vašíček) for providing access to their thermal facilities.
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