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Interaction of clay and concrete relevant to the deep disposal of high-level radioactive waste
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Mining and Geotechnical Engineering.
Institute of Geography and Geology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald.
Institute of Geography and Geology, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald.
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2015 (English)In: Applied Clay Science, ISSN 0169-1317, E-ISSN 1872-9053, Vol. 118, 178–187- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A concept for the disposal of highly radioactive waste at depth in the Earth’s crust using very deep bore-holes requires that the upper 2 km’s of the 800 mm diameter, steeply drilled holes, be effectively sealed. This can be achieved by using dense smectitic clay where the rock is weakly fractured and strengthening with concrete when fracture zones are encountered. Earlier investigations have shown that chemical reactions between the clay and concrete can be expected both in the upper part where the temperature is lower than 90oC and in the deeper section where the temperature reaches up to 150oC. To study further this interaction, hydrothermal experiments were conducted using mixed-layer (illite/smectite) Holmehus clay and a low pH slag-based concrete placed in contact under isothermal conditions at 21°C, 100oC and 150oC for a period of 8 weeks. The sample sets, which consisted of two clay discs separated by concrete cast on the lower clay disc, were extracted in undisturbed form and exposed to uniaxial pressure for measuring the compressive strength at successively increasing pressures. Compression tests underenhanced thermal conditions led to strengthening of both the clay and concrete. X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy analysis of the material revealed an increasing degree of cation exchange at higher temperatures with the cement, whereby Ca replaced Na in the interlayer sites of smectite layers. Dissolution of illite/smectite was also evident occurring at enhanced temperatures, with a decrease in K, Mg and Fe content with advanced alteration. The enhanced strength of clay can be partly attributed to the precipitation of cement phases from circulating fluids, including precipitation of gypsum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 118, 178–187- p.
Keyword [en]
low-pH slag cement, clay, chemical analysis, mineralogical analysis, stress/strain, hydrothermal treatment, Civil engineering and architecture - Geoengineering and mining engineering
Keyword [sv]
Samhällsbyggnadsteknik och arkitektur - Geoteknik och gruvteknik
Research subject
Structural Engineering; Soil Mechanics
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-15405DOI: 10.1016/j.clay.2015.08.008Local ID: ee91e90a-7957-48cb-a82e-60d938dbc374OAI: diva2:988379
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 2; 20140905 (mohhat)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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Hatem, MohammedPusch, RolandKnutsson, Sven
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