A Coupled Heat and Water Flow Apparatus

To study the performance of a compacted buffer material under thermal and isothermal conditions, a coupled heat and water flow apparatus is designed and presented. In the preliminary design, a one-dimensional flow of heat and water was not achieved. However, control of temperature gradient, existence of one-dimensional flow, and uniformity of temperature and volumetric water content distributions at any cross section within the specimen are achieved in the modified design. Experimental results have shown that the temperature stabilizes very rapidly after a period of approximately 0.107 days. The moisture moves away from the hot end along the longitudinal direction of the specimen due to imposed thermal gradient. The time required for moisture to stabilize is in order of days.

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