This paper studies the changes in thermal conductivity, temperature, and unconfined compressive strength of gold tailings and fly ash mixtures during the curing period of 5 days. The microfabric of the cured mixtures was investigated with mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). The mixture samples were prepared at their maximum dry unit weight and optimum moisture content. Effect of adding fly ash to gold tailings (i.e., 0, 20, and 40% of the dry weight of tailings) was examined, and a comparison was made on samples prepared at the same fly ash content by replacing gold tailings with humic acid (i.e., gold tailings and humic acid ratios of 100:0, 90:10, and 80:20 by weight) or by varying pore fluid chemistry (i.e., water and salt solutions of 1M NaCl and CaCl2). The results show that the initial thermal conductivity of the samples is sensitive to the mixture proportion and a declination in the thermal conductivity is observed due to hydration of fly ash and evaporation. Inclusion of fly ash and salts into gold tailings improves the unconfined compressive strength but the presence of humic acid in samples leads to the decrease of the strength. MIP results reveal the pore structure changes associated with the packing states of the samples that reflect the influential factors considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis