Settling and sedimentation behavior of fine-grained materials
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Channeling has already been an observed phenomenon that often occurs during settling and sedimentation processes of finer materials. However, it has been regarded as a minor factor affecting settling process, e.g. settling velocity or consolidation rate. In this study, settling behaviors of talcs, kaolins and attapulgite were reviewed by experiments with small and large settling columns with special focus on channel formation during sedimentation. The large settling column is equipped with twenty eight measuring points, which are connected to pressure transducers for measuring pore pressure changes during settling. Throughout the study, channel formation was observed and related to the experimental conditions affecting it. The excess pore pressure changes were measured during the large column tests. Channels occurred under flocculation in zone settling and also in consolidation zones; pressure drop was observed near channels in some cases. It was apparent that channels work as a facilitator to dissipate the excess pore water pressure. It is summarized that not only initial concentration but also the material properties, such as specific gravity and shape of particles, can affect the channel formation.
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