Determination of hydraulic conductivity of sand-bentonite mixtures for engineering purposes

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Pollution of the environment due to leakage from waste repositories is a well-known and wide spread problem. Emphasis has therefore been put on design of liners for such repositories, focusing on hydraulic conductivity and its variation with time, liner composition, water content, compaction etc. The paper addresses the hydraulic conductivity of sand/bentonite mixtures, especially the variation of the hydraulic conductivity as a function of bentonite content, compaction and degree of saturation. In order to better understand the variation of the hydraulic conductivity of a sand–bentonite mixture a new parameter k1has been proposed. The parameter reflects the amount of bentonite per pore volume and can easily be calculated based on the amount of bentonite and the dry density of the soil mixture. Thereby, the hydraulic conductivity can be predicted as a function of different degres of compaction. This method can be used for engineering purposes to predict the hydraulic conductivity at an early stage of a design to get an idea of the required design and hence, cost.

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