Experimental Studies of Buffer Gap Filling with Artificial Wetting

Erika Holt, Mia Löija, Stefania Fortino, Pieti Marjavaara

Research output: Book/ReportReport


The purpose of this work was to continue investigates on the swelling behaviour of artificially wetted highly compacted bentonite buffer blocks used in deposition holes for nuclear waste containment. The target was to study how filling the gap between the buffer block and deposition hole with wetted materials could create homogeneous and rapid swelling pressure. In this work bentonite blocks were confined in a test chamber and bentonite material was added to the gap with additional artificial wetting to induce swelling. The resulting gap material and buffer bentonite generated swelling pressure in both the radial and vertical directions which was measured over time.This study also had a portion on 2D modelling of the bentonite swelling during the early ages, with either pellets or water added to the gap. The results of this work showed that the use of gap filling bentonite material combined with artificial wetting can provide radial pressure over 100 kPa within the first days. Uncertainties still exist that need to be further clarified are focused on parameters used for detailed modelling of the gap sealing by artificial wetting phenomena.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEurajoki
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesPosiva Working Report


  • Bentonite
  • buffer
  • pellets
  • slurry
  • artificial
  • wetting
  • deposition hole
  • laboratory
  • experiments


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