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Title: Mechanical response and microprocesses of reconsolidating crushed salt at elevated temperature

Design, analysis and performance assessment of potential salt repositories for heat-generating nuclear waste require knowledge of thermal, mechanical, and fluid transport properties of reconsolidating granular salt. So, to inform salt repository evaluations, we have undertaken an experimental program to determine Bulk and Young’s moduli and Poisson’s ratio of reconsolidated granular salt as a function of porosity and temperature and to establish the deformational processes by which the salt reconsolidates. Our tests were conducted at 100, 175, and 250 °C. In hydrostatic tests, confining pressure is increased to 20 MPa with periodic unload/reload loops to determine K. Volume strain increases with increasing temperature. In shear tests at 2.5 and 5 MPa confining pressure, after confining pressure is applied, the crushed salt is subjected to a differential stress, with periodic unload/reload loops to determine E and ν. At predetermined differential stress levels the stress is held constant and the salt consolidates. Displacement gages mounted on the samples show little lateral deformation until the samples reach a porosity of ~10 %. Interestingly, vapor is vented only for 250 °C tests and condenses at the vent port. It is hypothesized that the brine originates from fluid inclusions, which were made accessible by heating andmore » intragranular deformational processes including decrepitation. Furthermore, identification and documentation of consolidation processes are inferred from optical and scanning electron microstructural observations. As a result, densification at low porosity is enhanced by water film on grain boundaries that enables solution-precipitation phenomena.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
SAND-20151569J; SAND-2015-7324J
Journal ID: ISSN 0723-2632; PII: 840
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 48; Journal Issue: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 0723-2632
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; crushed salt reconsolidation; mechanical testing; high temperature; hydrostatic; triaxial; salt creep; elastic properties
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1238586