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Effects of Thermal Treatment on Acoustic Waves in Carrara Marble
  • Matthias Ruf,
  • Holger Steeb
Matthias Ruf
Institute of Applied Mechanics (CE), University of Stuttgart, Institute of Applied Mechanics (CE), University of Stuttgart

Corresponding Author:matthias.ruf@mechbau.uni-stuttgart.de

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Holger Steeb
University of Stuttgart, University of Stuttgart
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Many physical processes in the field of rock physics are influenced by the presence of fractures and microcracks. Therefore, intact rock samples are often used for reproducible experimental studies, and cracks are artificially created by various methods. For this, one possibility is the use of thermal treatments. In this work, twelve thermal treatments, differing in the applied maximum temperature and the applied cooling condition (slow versus fast cooling) are experimentally studied for dry Bianco Carrara marble under ambient conditions. Two sizes of cylindrical core samples are investigated to identify a potential size effect. As effective quantities on the core-scale, the bulk volume, the bulk density, and the P- and S-wave velocities, including shear wave splitting, are examined. To obtain a three-dimensional insight into the mechanisms occurring on the micro-scale level, micro X-Ray Computed Tomography (µXRCT) imaging is employed. For both cooling conditions, with increasing maximum temperature, the bulk volume increases, and the propagation velocities significantly drop. This behavior is amplified for fast cooling. The bulk volume increase is related to the initiated crack volume as µXRCT shows. Based on comprehensive measurements, a logarithmic relationship between the relative bulk volume change and the relative change of the ultrasound velocities can be observed. Although there is a size effect for fast cooling, the relationship found is independent of the sample size. Also the cooling protocol has almost no influence. A model is derived which predicts the relative change of the ultrasound velocities depending on the initiated relative bulk volume change.