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Effect of gas pressure on the sealing efficiency of compacted bentonite-sand plugs

type de publication      article dans une revue internationale avec comité de lecture
date de publication 2014
auteur(s) Liu Jiangfeng; Davy Catherine A.; Talandier Jean; Skoczylas Frédéric
journal (abréviation) Journal of Contaminant Hydrology (J Contam Hydrol)
volume (numéro) 170
pages 10 – 27
résumé Compacted bentonite/sand plugs are placed inside a constant volume cell, and subjected to swelling in presence of both water and gas: swelling kinetics and effective swelling pressure P_{swell} are identified. Secondly, the gas breakthrough (GB) characteristics of swollen plugs are assessed to determine their ability for gas migration, which has to be minimal for sealing radioactive waste repositories. We show that gas pressure P_g does not affect significantly P_{swell} until a threshold P_g>2MPa. When swelling occurs inside a tube with a smooth inner surface, continuous GB occurs when P_g is equivalent to the effective P_{swell} (obtained without gas pressure, at 7.32 MPa+/-0.11). When the plug swells inside a grooved tube, continuous GB does not occur up to P_g>=10.5 MPa: smooth interfaces are a preferential gas migration pathway rather than grooved interfaces, and rather than water-saturated bentonite-sand plugs. With smooth tubes, in presence of P_g>=2 MPa, although P_{swell} is not affected, gas passes through the sample at significantly lower values than P_{swell}, due to partial sample saturation. It is concluded that GB pressure is a more accurate indicator of partial sample saturation than swelling pressure P_{swell} alone.
mots clés sealing efficiency; swelling; bentonite-sand; gas breakthrough pressure; gas migration pathways
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