Characterizing the mechanical behaviour of the Tournemire argillite
Xueqing Su, Son Nguyen, Ehsan Haghighat, Stanislaw Pietruszczak, Denis Labrie, Jean-Dominique Barnichon, Hadj Abdi, 2017. "Characterizing the mechanical behaviour of the Tournemire argillite", Radioactive Waste Confinement: Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers, S. Norris, J. Bruno, M. van Geet, E. Verhoef
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A laboratory programme of uniaxial, triaxial, cyclic and Brazilian tests was conducted to investigate the anisotropic mechanical behaviour of the Tournemire argillite, with different axial loading orientations with respect to the bedding planes (i.e. loading orientation angle, θ=0°, 30°, 45°, 60° and 90°). The experimental results show that both strength and deformation of the argillite are direction-dependent. Failure occurs in a brittle manner with a sudden collapse of the material strength. The failure mode exhibits localization along distinct failure planes and also depends on the loading orientation. This paper summarizes the experimental results and describes constitutive relationships that were developed in order to simulate the stress–strain behaviour of the Tournemire argillite. A microstructure tensor approach is adopted in order to take into account the anisotropic behaviour of the argillite. The identification procedure for material function and parameters is outlined, and the model is applied to simulate the set of triaxial tests performed at different levels of confining pressure and orientation of the bedding planes. It is demonstrated that the model adequately reproduces the anisotropy, the pre-peak stress–strain response and the onset of material collapse in those tests.
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It is internationally accepted that the safest and most sustainable option for managing radioactive waste is geological disposal, utilizing both engineering and geology to isolate the waste and contain the radioactivity.
This Special Publication contains 25 scientific studies presented at the 6th conference on ‘Clays in natural and engineered barriers for radioactive waste confinement’ held in Brussels, Belgium in 2015. The conference and this resulting volume cover many of the aspects of clay characterization and behaviour considered at various temporal and spatial scales relevant to the confinement of radionuclides in clay, from basic phenomenological process descriptions to the global understanding of performance and safety at repository and geological scales.
The papers in this volume consider research into argillaceous media under the following topic areas: large-scale geological characterization; general strategy for clay-based disposal systems; geomechanics; mass transfer; bentonite evolution and gas transfer.
The collection of different topics presented in this Special Publication demonstrates the diversity of geological repository research.