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Comparative modelling of laboratory experiments for the hydro-mechanical behaviour of a compacted bentonite–sand\nmixture

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    0463747 - ÚGN 2017 RIV DE eng J - Journal Article
    Millard, A. - Mokni, N. - Barnichon, J. D. - Tatcher, K. E. - Bond, A. - Mc Dermott, C. - Blaheta, Radim - Michalec, Zdeněk - Hasal, Martin - Nguyen, T. S. - Nasir, O. - Fedors, S. - Yi, H. - Kolditz, O.
    Comparative modelling of laboratory experiments for the hydro-mechanical behaviour of a compacted bentonite–sand
    Environmental Earth Sciences. Roč. 75, č. 20 (2016), s. 1311-1327. ISSN 1866-6280.
    [DECOVALEX 2015 /8./. Wakkanai, 13.10.2015-16.10.2015]
    Institutional support: RVO:68145535
    Keywords : hydro-mechanical (hm) coupling * numerical modelling * sealing systems * compacted bentonite–sand mixture
    Subject RIV: DB - Geology ; Mineralogy
    Impact factor: 1.569, year: 2016

    A comparative modelling exercise involving several independent teams from the DECOVALEX-2015 project is presented in this paper. The exercise is based on various laboratory experiments that have been carried out in the framework of a French research programme called SEALEX and conducted by the IRSN. The programme focuses on the long-term performance of swelling clay-based sealing systems that provide an important contribution to the safety of underground nuclear waste disposal facilities. A number of materials are being considered in the sealing systems; the current work focuses on a 70/30 MX80 bentonite–sand mixture compacted at dry densities between 1.67 and 1.97 Mg/m3. The improved understanding of the full set of hydro-mechanical processes affecting the behaviour of an in situ sealing system requires both experiments ranging from small-scale laboratory tests to full-scale field emplacement studies and coupled hydro-mechanical models that are able to explain the observations in the experiments. The approach was to build models of increasing complexity starting for the simplest laboratory experiments and building towards the full-scale in situ experiments. Following this approach, two sets of small-scale laboratory experiments have been performed and modelled. The first set of experiments involves characterizing the hydro-mechanical behaviour of the bentonite–sand mixture by means of (1) water retention tests under both constant volume and free swell conditions, (2) infiltration test under constant volume condition, and (3) swelling and compression tests under suction control conditions. The second, more complex, experiment is a 1/10th scale mock-up of a larger-scale in situ experiment. Modelling of the full-scale experiment is described in a companion paper.
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