A new method to predict swelling pressure of compacted bentonites based on diffuse double layer theory

  • Received : 2017.07.06
  • Accepted : 2018.03.29
  • Published : 2018.09.20


Compacted bentonites were chosen as the backfill material and buffer in high level nuclear waste disposal due to its high swelling pressure, high ion adsorption capacity and low permeability. It is essential to estimate the swelling pressure in design and considering the safety of the nuclear repositories. The swelling pressure model of expansive clay colloids was developed based on Gouy-Chapman diffuse double layer theory. However, the diffuse double layer model is effective in predicting low compaction dry density (low swelling pressure) for certain bentonites, and invalidation in simulating high compaction dry density (high swelling pressure). In this paper, the new relationship between nondimensional midplane potential function, u, and nondimensional distance function, Kd, were established based on the Gouy-Chapman theory by considering the variation of void ratio. The new developed model was constructed based on the published literature data of compacted Na-bentonite (MX80) and Ca-bentonite (FoCa) for sodium and calcium bentonite respectively. The proposed models were applied to re-compute swelling pressure of other compacted Na-bentonites (Kunigel-V1, Voclay, Neokunibond and GMZ) and Ca-bentonites (FEBEX, Bavaria bentonite, Bentonite S-2, Montigel bentonite) based on the reported experimental data. Results show that the predicted swelling pressure has a good agreement with the experimental swelling pressure in all cases.


Supported by : Charles University


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