Effect of Viscosity on Slurry Infiltration in Granular Media

Zhao Lu, Wan Huan Zhou, Zhen Yu Yin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The infiltration of slurry in granular media plays an important role in face stability during slurry shield tunneling. This study investigates the effect of slurry viscosity in Fujian standard sand through a series of column tests combined with microstructural investigation, which remains unclear. The viscosity of slurry covers a wide range, from 1.8 to 2,248 mPa·s. Slurry particles in the low-viscosity test (1.8 mPa·s) fail to form an impermeable cake due to the loose stacking of slurry particles retained in sand voids, corresponding to a slight water pressure difference and relatively large permeability. For the high-viscosity test (2,248 mPa·s), an impermeable cake forms at a shallow depth; however, this internal cake is vulnerable to be disturbed and damaged due to its shallow thickness. Ultimately, one recommended viscosity, 56 mPa·s, is identified as a transition state with two-stage intact clogging, exhibiting an effective infiltration depth and intact internal cake that forms simultaneously. Experimental observations show a negative water pressure difference in the high-viscosity test, attributable to the siphonic principle. Furthermore, a measurement of slurry samples and solutes using the material observation apparatus could provide the microstructure evidence to interpret the effect of slurry viscosity in infiltration clogging. This study offers a reliable reference for interpreting the effect of viscosity on slurry clogging in infiltration performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04022138
JournalInternational Journal of Geomechanics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2022


  • Discharge
  • Infiltration
  • Permeability
  • Pore-water pressure
  • Porosity
  • Slurry viscosity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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