Experimental Study on the Engineering Properties of Gelfill

Title: Experimental Study on the Engineering Properties of Gelfill
Authors: Abdul-Hussain, Najlaa
Date: 2011
Abstract: Gelfill (GF) is made of tailings, water, binder and chemical additives (Fillset, sodium silicate gel). The components of GF are combined and mixed on the surface and transported (by gravity and/or pumping) to the underground mine workings, where the GF can be used for both underground mine support and tailings storage. Thermal (T), hydraulic (H), and mechanical (M) properties are important performance criteria of GF. The understanding of these engineering properties and their evolution with time are still limited due to the fact that GF is a new cemented backfill material. In this thesis, the evolution of the thermal, hydraulic, mechanical, and microstructural properties of small GF samples are determined. Various binder contents of Portland cement type I (PCI) are used. The GF is cured for 3, 7, 28, 90, and 120 days. It is found that the thermal, hydraulic and mechanical properties are time-dependent or affected by the degree of binder hydration index. Furthermore, a relationship is found between the compressive strength and the saturated hydraulic conductivity of the GF samples. The unsaturated hydraulic properties of GF samples have also been investigated. The outcomes show that unsaturated hydraulic conductivity is influenced by the degree of binder hydration index and binder content, especially at low suction ranges. Simple functions are proposed to predict the evolution of air-entry values (AEVs), residual water content, and fitting parameters from the van Genuchten model with the degree of hydration index (α). Furthermore, two columns are built to simulate the coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical (THM) behaviour of GF under drained and undrained conditions. The obtained results from the GF columns are compared with the small samples. It is observed that the mechanical properties, hydraulic properties (suction and water content), and temperature development are strongly coupled. The magnitude of these THM coupling factors is affected by the size of the GF. The findings also show that the mechanical, hydraulic and thermal properties of the GF columns are different from samples cured in plastic moulds.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/19852
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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