Technical Report NTB 85-60

Final report of the buffer mass testVolume III: Chemical and physical stability of the buffer materials

The Buffer Mass Test offered a possibility to investigate whether chemical changes took place in the smectite component at heating to 125°C for about one year. The alterations that could possibly take place were a slight charge change in the crystal gitter lattice with an associated precipitation of silica compounds, and a tendency of illite formation. The analysis showed that there were indications of both but to such a slight extent that the processes could not have affected the physical properties, which was also demonstrated by determining the swelling pressure and the hydraulic conductivity.

The BMT also showed that the erodibility of bentonite-based buffer materials is less than or about equal to what can be expected on theoretical grounds.