Rheological and desaturation characteristics of a clay slurry

Azam, S., and Raghunandan, M.E. (2012)., Proceedings of 65th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, GeoManitoba 2012, Manitoba, Canada, Paper No. 306 , 2012

Several mining, geotechnical, and environmental related activities have to work with dilute slurries such as mine tailings, municipal sludges, dredged materials, and slurry trenches. These slurries are quite challenging during transportation and subsequent deposition. A clear understanding of their engineering behavior is pivotal at the onset of any project involving slurries. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the rheological and desaturation characteristics of clay slurry. The laboratory test results indicate a moderate water adsorption capacity for the clay as shown by the consistency limits (wl = 74% and wp = 32%). The SWCC for slurry and natural clay tend towards each other to meet at water content close to the plastic limit irrespective of the initial void ratio. The inflexion point in the yield stress versus solids content plot was found to occur at 54% solids content (corresponding to w = 1.15 wl).