Authors: Peng, XP; Guo, LJ; Liu, GS; Yang, XC; Wan, CC

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Peng, XP, Guo, LJ, Liu, GS, Yang, XC & Wan, CC 2021, 'Investigation of inhomogeneous properties of backfill samples to explore a new quantitative criterion for cemented paste backfill identification', in AB Fourie & D Reid (eds), Paste 2021: 24th International Conference on Paste, Thickened and Filtered Tailings, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 343-352,

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Cemented paste backfill (CPB) has been utilised globally in mines based on its benefits of non-segregation, non-bleeding and homogeneity. Due to a lack of research around the mechanism(s) driving anti-segregation properties, nowadays only some engineering empirical parameters including the slump or the fine particle content of backfill slurries can be used as the descriptive criterion for CPB. To better understand the antisegregation mechanism of CPB, so a quantitative criterion for its identification can be determined, the segregation-induced inhomogeneous properties of cemented tailings backfill have been experimentally investigated. Samples (diameter 75 mm and height 150 mm) with different solid contents were poured, cured and cut into sections of equal height. Thereafter, titration measures of EDTA-2Na and helium porosimeter have been used respectively to test the cement content and porosity of each section. Results show that the cement contents decreased from top to bottom along the curing height of samples, while the porosities increased along the settling direction. The inhomogeneity of cemented samples is affected obviously by the solids content of the paste, and it is notable that there is a turning point for the slurry concentration value over which the homogeneity will be improved dramatically. The turning point could be used as a new criterion for CPB definition from the perspective of inhomogeneity inhibition.

Keywords: cemented paste backfill, segregation, inhomogeneous properties, cement content, tailings

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