Modelling coupled behaviour of a clay barrier at high temperatures

M. Sanchez, A. Gens, L.D.N. Guimarães, S. Olivella, W. Xu (Editor), X. Tan (Editor), S. Yang (Editor)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

236 Citations (Scopus)


The design of repositories for the isolation of radioactive waste generally contemplates the use of expansive clays as a buffer material. In field conditions the clay barrier will be hydrated under confined conditions and will also undergo processes of heating, up to maximum of 100 ° C ( this is according to the Spanish concept for the isolation of high level radioactive waste). Based on experimental data, models have been developed to explain and reproduce the observed thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) behaviour of expansive clays. However, unplanned overheating in a large scale test has provided the opportunity to analyze the clay barrier under conditions quite different from the design ones. A THM formulation and constitutive model have been used to describe and reproduce the main aspects of the observed response of the clay barrier. The analysis provides a unique opportunity to test our current understanding of compacted expansive clay behaviour at temperatures not previously reached.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoProc 2006: Advances on coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical-chemical processes in geosystems and engineering
Place of PublicationBeijing
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • thermo-hydro-mechanical
  • radioactive waste
  • clay barrier
  • temperature
  • expansive clay
  • buffer

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