Changes in the microstructure of compacted bentonite caused by heating and hydration
CIEMAT, Avd. Complutense 40, 28040 Madrid, Spain
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Two twin 40-cm long columns of compacted FEBEX bentonite were tested in Teflon cells; water was supplied through the top surface of the columns and in one of them a heater was placed at the base and set to 100°C. The purpose of these tests was to simulate the behaviour of an engineered barrier in a radioactive waste repository and investigate the effect of the thermal gradient on saturation. In particular, changes in the pore size distribution and interlayer size have been investigated in this work. The thermal gradient had a strong influence on the water intake and distribution. Water content and dry density gradients persisted in the two columns after 12 years of testing. These changes gave place to the modification of the bentonite microstructure, overall increasing the microstructural void ratio and the proportion of adsorbed, interlayer water.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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