Date of this Version
Computers and Geotechnics 165 (2024) 105880. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compgeo.2023.105880
Bentonite is widely used as a water-proof material in engineering, and fibers are added to reduce the crack development of bentonite after drying. Carbon fiber can reinforce bentonite in heat-sensitive projects because of its high thermal conductivity and potential inhibition of bentonite cracking. Thus, it is important to determine the thermal conductivity of carbon fiber-reinforced bentonite. This study evaluated the thermal conductivity of carbon fiber-reinforced bentonite by analytical solution, experiment, and finite element method (FEM) simulation and discussed the effects of carbon fiber content, fiber length, fiber distribution, and the porosity of bentonite on the thermal conductivity of reinforced bentonite. The results show that the addition of carbon fiber can effectively improve the thermal conductivity of bentonite, and the thermal conductivity of the mixture is positively correlated with the content of fibers and the dry density of bentonite. When the content of carbon fiber with a thermal conductivity of 1000 W/(m K) is 1.0 %, and the porosity of bentonite is 0.4, the thermal conductivity of the composite can be increased by up to 390 %. At the same time, the distribution of fibers plays a vital role in thermal conductivity, and the thermal conductivity in the case of parallel distribution is 1.48 and 2.91 times that of random distribution and serial distribution. In addition, longer fiber length will help improve the thermal conductivity of the mixture. The thermal conductivity of the mixture for 1-inch fibers is 1.11 and 1.29 times that of 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch fibers. This study provides evidence of the possibility of improving the thermal conductivity of carbon fiber-reinforced bentonite.