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Effects of K+ solutions on swelling behavior of compacted GMZ bentonite

He, Yong, Ye, Wei-Min, Chen, Yong-Gui, Cui, Yu-Jun
Engineering geology 2019 v.249 pp. 241-248
bentonite, chemistry, potassium, potassium chloride, potassium hydroxide, silica
During the long-term operation of a deep geological repository, the buffer/backfill properties of compacted bentonite could be affected by the chemistry of the infiltrated porewater. In this study, swelling tests and microstructural analyses were conducted on the compacted GMZ bentonite specimens with an initial dry density of 1.5 or 1.7 Mg/m3 with infiltration of distilled water, as well as, KCl and KOH solutions (0.1 and 1.0 M). Influences of K+ solutions on the swelling behavior of compacted GMZ bentonite were investigated. Results show that swelling properties of compacted GMZ bentonite specimens could be significantly influenced by concentration of K+ solutions and dry density of specimens. Swelling pressure of compacted GMZ bentonite specimens was significantly attenuated by infiltration of K+ salt/alkaline solutions. For swelling strain tests with infiltration of KCl or KOH solutions, instead of a secondary swelling stage, a volumetric collapse stage was observed. Micro-structural test results demonstrate that the attenuation of swelling behavior could be attributed to the K+ exchange or silica dissolution.