Effects of NaCl solution on the swelling and shrinkage behavior of compacted bentonite under one-dimensional conditions

  • Yong HeEmail author
  • Wei-min Ye
  • Yong-gui Chen
  • Ke-neng Zhang
  • Dong-yu Wu
Original Paper


Because of its low hydraulic conductivity, high swelling capacity, and good adsorption properties, Gaomiaozi (GMZ) bentonite has been proposed as a suitable buffer/backfill material for construction of artificial barriers in deep geological repositories for high-level nuclear waste (HLW) disposal in China. By varying the concentration of NaCl solution and total suction, the swelling and shrinkage characteristics of compacted GMZ bentonite were studied under one-dimensional conditions. Results show that the swelling strain of compacted GMZ bentonite decreases as the concentration of NaCl solution increases under one-dimensional conditions. During drying with suction control by vapor phase technique, the density increases with suction. Simultaneously, the sample saturated with salt solution has a larger void ratio than that of the sample saturated with distilled water under the same suction. The void ratio and water content of the samples decrease with increasing suction. For a given suction, the sample saturated with salt solution has a higher degree of saturation than the sample saturated with distilled water. With the obtained water content (w), void ratio (e), and the degree of saturation (Sr), soil-water retention curves (SWRCs) were calculated for samples initially hydrated with different concentrations of NaCl solution. The SWRCs reveal that the sample with salt solution has higher water retention capacity than the sample with distilled water. A modified SWRC equation was proposed to account for the effect of NaCl solutions on the drying process of compacted GMZ bentonite under one-dimensional conditions. The results confirm that the modified SWRC equation can effectively describe the SWRCs of compacted GMZ bentonite considering the effects of NaCl solutions.


Compacted bentonite NaCl solution Suction control Swelling and shrinking Water retention curve 



The authors are grateful to the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 41807253) for financial support. The authors also wish to acknowledge the support of the European Commission via the Marie Curie IRSES project GREAT – Geotechnical and geological Responses to climate change: Exchanging Approaches and Technologies on a world-wide scale (FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES-612665). The authors are also grateful to the Research Fund Program of the Key Laboratory of Geotechnical and Underground Engineering (Tongji University), Ministry of Education (Project No. KLE-TJGE-B1803).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Metallogenic Prediction of Nonferrous Metals and Geological Environment Monitoring (Central South University)Ministry of EducationChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of Geosciences and Info-PhysicsCentral South UniversityChangshaPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Geotechnical & Underground Engineering of Ministry of Education and Department of Geotechnical EngineeringTongji UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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