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Influence of Extrusion Conditions on the Rheological Behavior of Nuclear Bituminized Waste Products

Abstract : In France, bitumen has been used since four decades as a container material for low/intermediate activity and long lifetime radionuclides. Industrial Bituminized Waste Products (BWP) are produced by continuous extrusion of 60 wt.% bitumen and 40 wt.% salts, in which a very small fraction is radioactive. These incorporated salts are, in majority, of two types: soluble or insoluble. During storage, the organic matrix subjected to irradiation produces gases, which can give rise to BWP swelling in the container and then to a possible overflow. The extent of gas production is directly linked to the degree of dispersion of the salts into the bitumen matrix. To quantify this dispersion, the effect of extrusion operating conditions, such as feed rate and screw speed, have been studied using a laboratory scale co-rotating twin screw extruder. BWP rheological characterization shows the development of a pseudo-solid plateau at low frequency and a change in the linear viscoelastic domain when screw speed and feed rate are varied, indicating a modification of the dispersion state. Samples characterization with environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM) confirms in the case of insoluble and soluble salts a change in the number of agglomerates, accompanied by an improvement of the dispersion at high screw speed but less remarkable with the feed rate. A Carreau-Yasuda law with a yield stress is proposed to describe the theological behaviour of these materials. The effects of volume fraction and maximum volume fraction on viscosity are described using a Krieger-Dougherty equation.
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Submitted on : Friday, December 23, 2011 - 2:46:53 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:28:15 PM



Mouhamad Mouazen, Arnaud Poulesquen, Bruno Vergnes. Influence of Extrusion Conditions on the Rheological Behavior of Nuclear Bituminized Waste Products. International Polymer Processing, 2011, 26 (5), pp.569-579. ⟨10.3139/217.2496⟩. ⟨hal-00654870⟩



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