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Journal Articles Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. Parts A/B/C Year : 2014

In situ interaction between different concretes and Opalinus Clay


Interactions between cementitious materials and claystone are driven by chemical gradients in pore water and might lead to mineralogical modifications in both materials. In the context of a radioactive waste repository, this alteration might influence safety-relevant clay properties like swelling pressure, permeability, or specific retention. In this study, interfaces of Opalinus Clay, a potential host-rock in Switzerland, and three concrete formulations emplaced in the Cement-Clay Interaction (CI) Experiment at the Mont Terri Underground Laboratory (St. Ursanne, Switzerland) were analysed after 2.2 years of interaction. Sampling techniques with interface stabilisation followed by inclined intersection drilling were developed. Element distribution maps of the concrete-clay interfaces show complex zonations like sulphur enrichment, zones depleted in Ca but enriched in Mg, strong Mg enrichment adjacent to the interface, or carbonation. Consistently, the carbonated zone shows a reduced porosity. Properties of the complex zonation strongly depend on cement properties like water content and pH (ordinary Portland cement vs. low-pH cement). An increased Ca or Mg content in the first 100 lm next to the interface is observed in Opalinus Clay. The cation occupancy of clay exchanger phases next to the ordinary Portland cement interface is depleted in Mg, but enriched in Na, whereas porosity shows no changes at all. The current data suggests migration of CO2=HCO 3 , SO2 4 , and Mg species from clay into cement. pH decrease in the cement next to the interface leads to instability of ettringite, and the sulphate liberated diffuses towards higher pH regions (away from the interface), where additional ettringite can form.


Applied geology
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Dates and versions

hal-01055791 , version 1 (13-08-2014)



Andreas Jenni, U. Mader, Catherine Lerouge, Stéphane Gaboreau, B. Schwyn. In situ interaction between different concretes and Opalinus Clay. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth. Parts A/B/C, 2014, 70-71, pp.71-83. ⟨10.1016/j.pce.2013.11.004⟩. ⟨hal-01055791⟩


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