Laboratory testing at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

A program of characterisation and unsaturated soil mechanics tests on the sand/bentonite mixture has been performed at UPC. Test were performed on untraced mixtures and mixtures traced with lead-nitrate. The aim of these tests was to characterise the grain and pore microstructure of the sand /bentonite mixture.

Microstructural characterisation of sand/bentonite included Environmental Scanning Electron Micrsocope (ESEM) and Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP).

Unsaturated soil mechanics tests were performed using controlled suction oedometer, direct shear and triaxial cells.

UPC triaxial cell. Axis translation technique

UPC also performed tests on material excavated from the EBS during dismantling. It was possible to manufacture differently oriented samples to examine material anisotropy.

Sand/bentonite block excavation during dismantling Layout of sampling in excavated sand/bentonite block

Sand/bentonite block being trimmed in the laboratory Sample prepared for cell after trimming