Thermal conductivity of geosynthetic clay liners

Mohammad Asgar Ali, Abdelmalek Bouazza, Rao Martand Singh, Will P. Gates, R. Kerry Rowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The thermal conductivities of powdered and granular bentonite based needle punched geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) were investigated at different gravimetric water contents under 25, 50, 75, and 100 kPa vertical stresses. Both types of GCLs exhibited an increase in thermal conductivity with increasing vertical stress at all water contents. The effect of vertical stresses was more pronounced for the specimens hydrated at lower gravimetric water contents and this was attributed to their high initial volumetric air content. The variability of water distribution in partially hydrated GCLs has been identified as a factor that may affect their thermal conductivity. The forms of bentonites (i.e., powder or granular) affected their thermal conductivities; however, this effect was less apparent at higher gravimetric water contents due to the reduced air content and gel formation in the bentonites. Finally, the GCL thermal conductivity calculated from the measured thermal conductivities of its various constituents (i.e geotextile and bentonite) components differed from the measured values. This was attributed to the nonuniform water distribution across the GCL specimen and change in material properties when components of GCL were disassembled.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1510-1521
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • Geosynthetic clay liner
  • Gravimetric water content
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Vertical stress

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