R7T7 glass behavior was investigated in contact with eleven different materials including smectites, bentonites, illites, granite and sand. The experiments were conducted at 90°C under atmospheric pressure with a 4 cm−1 SA/V ratio using two grams of material in double distilled water under static leaching conditions without renewal of the leachate. For each material a control test was conducted under the same conditions but without the glass specimen, as well as a series of tests on glass alone, without the environmental material. Kinetics studies lasting up to 364 days were performed on four selected materials.
The test results (mass loss, ICP analysis of the leachates, SEM and TEM observations) showed relatively slight glass alteration in contact with sand, granite and one bentonite (i.e. the same order of magnitude as glass alone in deionized water), but greater alteration of glass in contact with all the other clays.
The significant differences in glass behavior in contact with environmental materials can be accounted for by the behavior of the latter in solution: activated bentonite releases very large amounts of silicon and sodium into solution while smectite seems to remove silicon from solution.