Numerical interpretation of the coupled hydromechanical behaviour of expansive clays in constant volume column tests

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Title: Numerical interpretation of the coupled hydromechanical behaviour of expansive clays in constant volume column tests
Authors: Mantikos, V
Tsiampousi, A
Taborda, DMG
Potts, DM
Item Type: Conference Paper
Abstract: © The authors and ICE Publishing: All rights reserved, 2015.Experimental and numerical studies of the behaviour of expansive clays have been attracting increasing interest, due to their good sealing properties, which render them ideal to be used as engineered barriers (buffers) in both active (e.g. nuclear) and non-active waste disposal facilities. Both large scale and laboratory scaled experiments indicate that the sealing capabilities of the buffer are fundamentally governed by its volumetric behaviour when wetted. In this paper, a constant volume column infiltration test, performed under isothermal conditions on compacted MX80 bentonite, is modelled numerically using the Imperial College Finite Element Program (ICFEP). A modified version of the Barcelona Basic Model is used to simulate the behaviour of the buffer, which is inherently partly saturated. The numerical results agree well with the observed experimental data, especially with regard to the advancement of the wetting front. A detailed interpretation of the computed evolutions with time of stress state, suction and void ratio at different elevations along the samples axis is carried out, providing insight into the complex hydro-mechanical response of the buffer during the experiment. Indeed, even though the overall volume of the sample was kept constant, a region of localised dilation, which induced the contraction of other zones of the material, was observed to advance simultaneously with the wetting front along the height of the soil column.
Issue Date: 30-Sep-2015
Date of Acceptance: 13-Sep-2015
DOI: 10.1680/ecsmge.6067
ISBN: 978-0727760678
Publisher: ICE Publishing
Journal / Book Title: Proceedings of the XVI ECSMG 2015
Copyright Statement: © The authors and ICE Publishing: All rights reserved, 2015.
Sponsor/Funder: Geotechnical Consulting Group
Funder's Grant Number: CISM_P60087
Conference Name: 16th European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
Publication Status: Published
Start Date: 2015-09-13
Finish Date: 2015-09-17
Conference Place: Edinburgh
Appears in Collections:Civil and Environmental Engineering

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