Improved measurement and a predictive model for thermal conductivity of sand-bentonite mixtures

Yong ming Tien, Chen An Chu, Po Lin Wu, Wen Shou Chuang, Yi Jan Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this article, an improved thermal probe method for the measurement of thermal conductivity is proposed. Using this method, the thermal contact resistance between the probe and the specimen can be minimized and the total number of measurements when evaluating the relationship between thermal conductivity and these factors: dry unit weight of bentonite, water content, and fraction of sand or crushed granite is also reduced. A predictive model for sand-bentonite-based buffer material including two sub-models is presented. The first sub-model (the matrix model) is modified from the de Vries and Campbell model (1985), which is aimed at predicting the thermal conductivity of the matrix phase (representing bentonite, water, and void) at different densities and water contents. The second sub-model (the micromechanics model) predicts the overall thermal conductivity of a particulate-matrix composite. By assigning the sand or crushed granite as the particulate and the bentonite-water-void as the matrix, micromechanics models can be applied and the predictive results agree with the experimental data of the sand-bentonite mixture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of GeoEngineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Buffer material
  • De Vries and Campbell model
  • Icromechanics
  • Sand-bentonite mixture
  • Thermal conductivity


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