Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: geomaterial

4 Laser Ultrasonic Diagnostics and Acoustic Emission Technique for Examination of Rock Specimens under Uniaxial Compression

Authors: Elena B. Cherepetskaya, Vladimir A. Makarov, Dmitry V. Morozov, Ivan E. Sas

Abstract:

Laboratory studies of the stress-strain behavior of rocks specimens were conducted by using acoustic emission and laser-ultrasonic diagnostics. The sensitivity of the techniques allowed changes in the internal structure of the specimens under uniaxial compressive load to be examined at micro- and macro scales. It was shown that microcracks appear in geologic materials when the stress level reaches about 50% of breaking strength. Also, the characteristic stress of the main crack formation was registered in the process of single-stage compression of rocks. On the base of laser-ultrasonic echoscopy, 2D visualization of the internal structure of rocky soil specimens was realized, and the microcracks arising during uniaxial compression were registered.

Keywords: acoustic emission, geomaterial, laser ultrasound, uniaxial compression

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3 The Effect of Curing Temperature and Rice Husk Ash Addition on the Behaviour of Sulfate-Rich Clay after Lime Stabilization

Authors: E. Bittar, A. Quiñonez, F. Mencia, E. Aguero, M. Delgado, V. Arriola, R. López

Abstract:

In the western region of Paraguay, the poor condition of the roads has negatively affected the development of this zone, where the absence of petrous material has led engineers to opt for the stabilization of soils with lime or cement as the main structure for bases and subbases of these roads. In several areas of this region, high sulfate contents have been found both in groundwater and in soils, which, when reacted with lime or cement, generate a new problem instead of solving it. On the other hand, the use of industrial waste as granulated slag and fly ash proved to be a sustainable practice widely used in the manufacture of cement, and now also, in the stabilization of soils worldwide. Works related to soils containing sulfates stabilized either with granulated slag or fly ash and lime shown a good performance in their mechanical behaviour. This research seeks to evaluate the mechanical behaviour of soils with high contents of sulfates stabilized with lime by curing them both, at the normalized temperature (23 ± 2 °C) and at 40 ± 2 °C. Moreover, it attempts to asses if the addition of rice husk ash has a positive influence on the new geomaterial. The 40 ± 2 °C curing temperature was selected trying to simulate the average local temperature in summer and part of spring session whereas rice husk ash is an affordable waste produced in the region. An extensive experimental work, which includes unconfined compression, durability and free swell tests were carried out considering different dry unit weights, lime content and the addition of 20% of rice husk ash. The results showed that the addition of rice husk ash increases the resistance and durability of the material and decreases the expansion of this, moreover, the specimens cured at a temperature of 40 ± 2 °C showed higher resistance, better durability and lower expansion compared to those cured at the normalized temperature of 23 ± 2 °C.

Keywords: durability, expansion, lime stabilization, rice husk ash, sulfate

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2 Sample Preparation and Coring of Highly Friable and Heterogeneous Bonded Geomaterials

Authors: Mohammad Khoshini, Arman Khoshghalb, Meghdad Payan, Nasser Khalili

Abstract:

Most of the Earth’s crust surface rocks are technically categorized as weak rocks or weakly bonded geomaterials. Deeply weathered, weakly cemented, friable and easily erodible, they demonstrate complex material behaviour and understanding the overlooked mechanical behaviour of such materials is of particular importance in geotechnical engineering practice. Weakly bonded geomaterials are so susceptible to surface shear and moisture that conventional methods of core drilling fail to extract high-quality undisturbed samples out of them. Moreover, most of these geomaterials are of high heterogeneity rendering less reliable and feasible material characterization. In order to compensate for the unpredictability of the material response, either numerous experiments are needed to be conducted or large factors of safety must be implemented in the design process. However, none of these approaches is sustainable. In this study, a method for dry core drilling of such materials is introduced to take high-quality undisturbed core samples. By freezing the material at certain moisture content, a secondary structure is developed throughout the material which helps the whole structure to remain intact during the core drilling process. Moreover, to address the heterogeneity issue, the natural material was reconstructed artificially to obtain a homogeneous material with very high similarity to the natural one in both micro and macro-mechanical perspectives. The method is verified for both micro and macro scale. In terms of micro-scale analysis, using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), pore spaces and inter-particle bonds were investigated and compared between natural and artificial materials. X-Ray Diffraction, XRD, analyses are also performed to control the chemical composition. At the macro scale, several uniaxial compressive strength tests, as well as triaxial tests, were performed to verify the similar mechanical response of the materials. A high level of agreement is observed between micro and macro results of natural and artificially bonded geomaterials. The proposed methods can play an important role to cut down the costs of experimental programs for material characterization and also to promote the accuracy of the numerical modellings based on the experimental results.

Keywords: Artificial geomaterial, core drilling, macro-mechanical behavior, micro-scale, sample preparation, SEM photography, weakly bonded geomaterials

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1 Spectroscopic Autoradiography of Alpha Particles on Geologic Samples at the Thin Section Scale Using a Parallel Ionization Multiplier Gaseous Detector

Authors: Hugo Lefeuvre, Jerôme Donnard, Michael Descostes, Sophie Billon, Samuel Duval, Tugdual Oger, Herve Toubon, Paul Sardini

Abstract:

Spectroscopic autoradiography is a method of interest for geological sample analysis. Indeed, researchers may face different issues such as radioelement identification and quantification in the field of environmental studies. Imaging gaseous ionization detectors find their place in geosciences for conducting specific measurements of radioactivity to improve the monitoring of natural processes using naturally-occurring radioactive tracers, but also for the nuclear industry linked to the mining sector. In geological samples, the location and identification of the radioactive-bearing minerals at the thin-section scale remains a major challenge as the detection limit of the usual elementary microprobe techniques is far higher than the concentration of most of the natural radioactive decay products. The spatial distribution of each decay product in the case of uranium in a geomaterial is interesting for relating radionuclides concentration to the mineralogy. The present study aims to provide spectroscopic autoradiography analysis method for measuring the initial energy of alpha particles with a parallel ionization multiplier gaseous detector. The analysis method has been developed thanks to Geant4 modelling of the detector. The track of alpha particles recorded in the gas detector allow the simultaneous measurement of the initial point of emission and the reconstruction of the initial particle energy by a selection based on the linear energy distribution. This spectroscopic autoradiography method was successfully used to reproduce the alpha spectra from a 238U decay chain on a geological sample at the thin-section scale. The characteristics of this measurement are an energy spectrum resolution of 17.2% (FWHM) at 4647 keV and a spatial resolution of at least 50 µm. Even if the efficiency of energy spectrum reconstruction is low (4.4%) compared to the efficiency of a simple autoradiograph (50%), this novel measurement approach offers the opportunity to select areas on an autoradiograph to perform an energy spectrum analysis within that area. This opens up possibilities for the detailed analysis of heterogeneous geological samples containing natural alpha emitters such as uranium-238 and radium-226. This measurement will allow the study of the spatial distribution of uranium and its descendants in geo-materials by coupling scanning electron microscope characterizations. The direct application of this dual modality (energy-position) of analysis will be the subject of future developments. The measurement of the radioactive equilibrium state of heterogeneous geological structures, and the quantitative mapping of 226Ra radioactivity are now being actively studied.

Keywords: alpha spectroscopy, digital autoradiography, mining activities, natural decay products

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