Dispersion of cement-based grout with ultrasound and conventional laboratory dissolvers
Sammanfattning: In any underground facilities especially tunnels, it is essential to seal the area against water ingress and leakage of reserved materials. Grouting is a common method used to seal rocks around tunnels, successful grouting reduces the duration and cost of the construction, guarantees better working environment and higher safety, minimizes the maintenance and most important decreases the corresponding environmental hazards significantly. Achieving a sufficient grout spread is one of the prerequisites for a successful and efficient sealing, the penetration of a grout is defined as the length of how far grout penetrates in the rock through fractures from a bore hole. Chemical grouts and cement-based grouts are the prevailing ones among the grouting materials. Despite the better penetrability of chemical grouts, they are unfavorable to use due to environmental hazards associated to them, whilst cement-based grouts are more convenient to use because of their low cost and low environmental impact.The major drawback with cement-based grouts is their limited ability to penetrate the very narrow fractures which is directly related to their filtration tendency which is defined as the tendency of cement grains to agglomerate and build an impermeable filter cake during the flow. Many previous studies investigated the factors that affect the filtration tendency. They drew different conclusions and suggested various methods to improve the penetrability of cement-based grouts.The mixing method is one of the factors that have a great influence on the penetrability of the grout. An effective mixing method improves the dispersion of cement particles in the mixture, thus the penetrability of the grout. As it is known from previous studies, the finer the cement particles the harder to disperse. Grouts based on micro-fine cement (< 30 μm) are essential for the development of grouts that can seal very narrow fractures (20-50) μm compared to (70-80) μm at the present.In this study, the dispersion efficiency of three different mixing methods was evaluated, a conventional lab dissolver equipped with 90-mm disk, a conventional lab dissolver equipped with R/S system and an ultrasound UP400St device. Two cement types, INJ30 and UF12, that are similar in chemical composition but differ in degree of milling were tested. Dispersion was tested with filter pump.The results showed that the conventional lab dissolver equipped with 90-mm disk is ineffective method. The conventional lab dissolver equipped with R/S system is a better method compared to the 90-mm disk but still not effective enough especially when it comes to grouts based on ultra-fine cement (UF12). The ultrasound dispersion is not only the best method between the three methods in comparison, but even more stable and reliable. The best result obtained was grout based on UF12 passing through the 54 μm filter. This could mean that fracture aperture down to 55 μm now can be sealed. This is a significant improvement but there is still a marginal for further improvements. In combination with the dispersion efficiency of different dispersion methods, the study investigated the effect of additives on dispersion in particular and penetrability in general. Results showed that additives do not directly contribute to better dispersion, but they are necessary for better spread since they affect the flow properties.
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