Abstract

The purpose of this study was to develop a clear understanding of water flow through clayey slurries. Computed micro-tomography was used to quantify slurry constituents and validate index properties and hydraulic conductivity. An image analysis method was developed to capture the mechanics of flow through clayey slurries that are difficult to quantify through conventional measurement techniques. A solids ratio was defined to identify actual flow paths within a mixture of the solids, water and hydrated grains. Likewise, hydraulic radius was re-defined to describe water flow paths (pore throat) thereby eliminating the measurement of shape factor and tortuosity. More importantly, hydraulic conductivity calculated through the new method (and based on Poiseuille's law) corroborated well with the empirical method of Pane & Schiffman (1997) for flocculated slurries.

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