The mechanics of active clays circulated by salts, acids and bases: Comprehensive version

Gajo, Alessandro and Loret, Benjamin (2007) The mechanics of active clays circulated by salts, acids and bases: Comprehensive version. In «Journal of the Mechanics and Physiscs of Solids», vol. 55, n. 8 Elsevier, pp. 1762-1801. ISBN ISSN 0022-5096

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    An elastic-plastic model that accounts for electro-chemo-mechanical couplings in clays, due to the presence of dissolved salts and acids and bases, is developed here for the first time. To the authors' best knowledge, no other comprehensive project to embody the effects of pH in the elastic-plastic behavior of geomaterials has been attempted so far. Chemically sensitive clays are viewed as two-phase multi-species saturated porous media circulated by an electrolyte. The developments are embedded in the framework of the thermodynamics of multi-phase multi-species porous media. This approach serves to structure the model, and to motivate constitutive equations. The present extension capitalize upon the earlier developments by Gajo et al. [2002] and Gajo and Loret [2004], which were devoted to modeling chemo-mechanical couplings at constant pH. Four transfer mechanisms between the solid and fluid phases are delineated in the model: (1) hydration, (2) ion exchange, (3) acidification, (4) alkalinization. Thus all fundamental exchanges at particle level are fully taken into account. Only mineral dissolution is neglected, since experimental observations indicates a negligible role of mineral dissolution for active clays at room temperature. In particular, the newly considered mechanisms of acidification and alkalinization directly affect the electrical charge of clay particles and thus have a key role in the electro-chemo-mechanical couplings. These four mechanisms are seen as controlling both elastic and elasto-plastic behaviors. Depending on concentrations and ionic affinities to the clay mineral, these mechanisms either compete or cooperate to modify the compressibility and strength of the clay and may induce swelling (volume expansion) or shrinking (volume contraction). The framework is rich enough to allow for the simulations of recently performed laboratory experiments on clay samples submitted to intertwined mechanical and chemical loading programmes, involving large changes in ionic strengths and pH. This work is the comprehensive version of the paper published on the Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 55(8), 1762-1801

    Item Type: Article in journal
    Department or Research center: Mechanical and Structural Engineering
    Subjects: UNSPECIFIED
    Uncontrolled Keywords: electro-chemo-mechanical coupling, pH, clays, fluid-saturated porous media, elasto-plasticity
    Repository staff approval on: 18 Feb 2008

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