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Paper title: A Test Method To Determine Expected GCL Porosity Under Specific Site Conditions

Authors - Daniel Gibbs and Will Gates

Determination of the porosity and void ratio of bentonites under site conditions is critical to understanding GCL performance in-service.  The value of porosity determined for a porous material depends on the subtly different interactions within the pore spaces governed by a particular leachate flux process.

For clay based lining materials, such as Geosynthetic Clay Liners (GCLs) or compacted clay, the effective porosity or void ratio depends on the effective stress, saturation conditions of the lining system and the interactions between the leachate and the clay, which impact flow path tortuosity.  

This paper discusses a test method to calculate the porosity of GCLs under specific conditions of effective stress and saturation. 

Results indicate that the total void ratio of hydrated GCLs is essentially equivalent to that of the bentonite component only, because the bentonite fills all geotextile void spaces.  At stresses as high as 1,000 kPa, the geotextile fibres are compressed and both geotextile and interparticle voids in bentonite are absent.  Thus, traditional methods to measure porosity and void ratio of GCLs will over-estimate the importance of the geotextile under high confining stresses.

For more information on Geosynthetic Clay Liners, please contact Marc Amtsberg on 07 5594 8600 or at
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