Volume 37, Issue 6 (November 2009)
Analyzing Settling of Fine-Grained Soil by Electrical Resistance Measurements
The industry and construction sector face an increasing problem of how to dispose of its voluminous residues. Much of these residues are constituted of large amounts of liquid phase and fine-grained solids in suspension, for example mine tailings and dredged materials. Therefore, there is a need to develop technologies that aim at reducing the volume of these residues for economical disposal or treatment. Depending on the type of solid and liquid phase, a number of additives are currently used to speed up the sedimentation and reduce the volume of these suspensions. In order to investigate the impact of different additives, a laboratory setup was designed to monitor the sedimentation process. This setup consists of a transparent plastic tube provided with electrodes. This paper focuses on the evaluation and performance of electrical resistance measurement as a means to monitor the sedimentation of a fine-grained soil. Experimental work was carried out on suspensions of kaolin clay in deionized water and electrolyte solutions. The results showed that electrical resistance measurements can provide valuable information related to densification and fabric of the soft sediment.