Consolidation of a clay slurry using a new mini centrifuge

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University of New Brunswick


As technology in the area of geotechnical engineering grows, so does the need for concise methods of testing and modelling properties of materials such as clay. No protocol previously existed for consolidating clay slurries within an IEC model K centrifuge recently acquired by the University of New Brunswick. Such a protocol and centrifuge could significantly benefit the research facilities at UNB. However to ensure safe and repeatable operations in geotechnical applications, the centrifuge first needed to be commissioned. This was done by adapting the centrifuge for geotechnical applications by installing a new optical pickup tachometer and preparing designs for future additional instrumentation. After commissioning the centrifuge, attempts were made to consolidate USP grade kaolin slurries mixed to 120% water content within the centrifuge. As a result of these trials, a concise and repeatable method of normally consolidating clay slurries within the new centrifuge was produced. The IEC model K centrifuge used in this study proved to be an effective tool in consolidating clay slurries.