Abstract

This study presents measurements of the physical and mechanical properties of Gyeongju bentonite, a candidate sealing material for radioactive waste disposal in South Korea. Cylindrical samples were prepared with different dry densities and water contents. The samples were used to measure the Uniaxial Compression Strength and P-wave velocity and also used for X-ray CT inspection. Afterward, the physical and mechanical properties were contrasted with the CT observations. The results showed that the Uniaxial Compression Strength and the P-wave velocity have a linear and increasing relationship with the dry density. Also, higher water content increased the values of the measured parameters, especially for the P-wave velocity. The X-ray CT analysis indicated a clear relation between the mean CT value and the dry density, Uniaxial Compression Strength, and P-wave velocity. The effect of the higher water content was also captured with the mean CT values, where higher values were recorded for samples of the same dry density but higher water content. These relationships between the mean CT value and other properties are a handy non-destructive tool to characterize local internal variations and predict physical properties using images only.

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