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Title: Cast Stone Formulation At Higher Sodium Concentrations

A low temperature waste form known as Cast Stone is being considered to provide supplemental Low Activity Waste (LAW) immobilization capacity for the Hanford site. Formulation of Cast Stone at high sodium concentrations is of interest since a significant reduction in the necessary volume of Cast Stone and subsequent disposal costs could be achieved if an acceptable waste form can be produced with a high sodium molarity salt solution combined with a high water to premix (or dry blend) ratio. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the factors involved with increasing the sodium concentration in Cast Stone, including production and performance properties and the retention and release of specific components of interest. Three factors were identified for the experimental matrix: the concentration of sodium in the simulated salt solution, the water to premix ratio, and the blast furnace slag portion of the premix. The salt solution simulants used in this study were formulated to represent the overall average waste composition. The cement, blast furnace slag, and fly ash were sourced from a supplier in the Hanford area in order to be representative. The test mixes were prepared in the laboratory and fresh properties were measured. Fresh density increasedmore » with increasing sodium molarity and with decreasing water to premix ratio, as expected given the individual densities of these components. Rheology measurements showed that all of the test mixes produced very fluid slurries. The fresh density and rheology data are of potential value in designing a future Cast Stone production facility. Standing water and density gradient testing showed that settling is not of particular concern for the high sodium compositions studied. Heat of hydration measurements may provide some insight into the reactions that occur within the test mixes, which may in turn be related to the properties and performance of the waste form. These measurements showed that increased sodium concentration in the salt solution reduced the time to peak heat flow, and reducing the amount of slag in the premix increased the time to peak heat flow. These observations may help to describe some of the cured properties of the samples, in particular the differences in compressive strength observed after 28 and 90 days of curing. Samples were cured for at least 28 days at ambient temperature in the laboratory prior to cured properties analyses. The low activity waste form for disposal at the Hanford Site is required to have a compressive strength of at least 500 psi. After 28 days of curing, several of the test mixes had mean compressive strengths that were below the 500 psi requirement. Higher sodium concentrations and higher water to premix ratios led to reduced compressive strength. Higher fly ash concentrations decreased the compressive strength after 28 days of curing. This may be explained in that the cementitious phases matured more quickly in the mixes with higher concentrations of slag, as evidenced by the data for the time to peak heat generation. All of the test mixes exhibited higher mean compressive strengths after 90 days of curing, with only one composition having a mean compressive strength of less than 500 psi. Leachability indices were determined for the test mixes for contaminants of interest. The leaching performance of the mixes evaluated in this study was not particularly sensitive to the factors used in the experimental design. This may be beneficial in demonstrating that the performance of the waste form is robust with respect to changes in the mix composition. The results of this study demonstrate the potential to achieve significantly higher waste loadings in Cast Stone and other low temperature, cementitious waste forms. Additional work is needed to elucidate the hydration mechanisms occurring in Cast Stone formulated with highly concentrated salt solutions since these reactions are responsible for determining the performance of the cured waste form. The thermal analyses completed in this study provide some preliminary insight, although the limited range of the factors in the test matrix hindered the identification of individual component effects. Future work should involve broader factor ranges to identify the roles played by each of the components in the mix via thermal analyses, analytical microscopy, and characterization of phase formation.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400307
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States