Retention curves of bentonite under a microstructural perspective

M. V. Villar, R. Gomez-Espina, R. Campos, L. Gutierrez-Nebot, I. Barrios

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The water retention capacity of two bentonites (FEBEX and MX-80) compacted at various dry densities was determined by stabilizing their water content under different suctions. After equilibrium the microstructure of the samples was explored by X-ray diffraction and mercury intrusion porosimetry. The equilibrium water contents depended on the suction level and, for the lowest suctions, on the dry density. The retention capacity of the FEBEX bentonite was higher than that of MX-80. The basal spacings of the bentonites increased with water content, although not lineally, and for particular ranges of suction the basal spacing remained constant while the water content increased, indicating that for certain levels of hydration part of the water was adsorbed in the pore network and not in the interlayer. Overall, the microstructure of the MX-80 seemed to be more homogeneous;- in particular, the FEBEX bentonite showed a clear predominance of micropores. For both bentonites the macropore size was the less represented, and its percentage and size mode decreased with dry density.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnsaturated Soils
PublisherTaylor and Francis - Balkema
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781138026902
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event6th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, UNSAT 2014 - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Duration: 2 Jul 20144 Jul 2014


Other6th International Conference on Unsaturated Soils, UNSAT 2014
CitySydney, NSW

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science


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