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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 11, Number 2, August 2016 , pages 197-209

Study of physical simulation of electrochemical modification of clayey rock
Zhaoyun Chai, Yatiao Zhang and Alexander Scheuermann

    Clayey rock has large clay mineral content. When in contact with water, this expands considerably and may present a significant hazard to the stability of the rock in geotechnical engineering applications. This is particularly important in the present work, which focused on mitigating some unwelcomed properties of clayey rock. Changes in its physical properties were simulated by subjecting the rock to a low voltage direct current (DC) using copper, steel and aluminum electrodes. The modified mechanism of the coupled electrical and chemical fields acting on the clayey rock was analyzed. It was concluded that the essence of clayey rock electrochemical modification is the electrokinetic effect of the DC field, together with the coupled hydraulic and electrical potential gradients in finegrained clayey rock, including ion migration, electrophoresis and electro-osmosis. The aluminum cathodes were corroded and generated gibbsite at the anode; the steel and copper cathodes showed no obvious change. The electrical resistivity and uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) of the modified specimens from the anode, intermediate and cathode zones tended to decrease. Samples taken from these zones showed a positive correlation between electric resistivity and UCS.
Key Words
    clayey rock; modified mechanism; electrokinetic effect; physical simulation; long-term stability
(1) Zhaoyun Chai, Yatiao Zhang:
Mining Technology Institute, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030024, China;
(2) Zhaoyun Chai Alexander Scheuermann:
School of Civil Engineering, the University of Queensland, Brisbane, 4067, Australia.

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