Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, Ampere 2019

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Experimental Investigations of Microwave Effects on Rock Breakage Using SEM Analysis
Khashayar Teimoori, Ferri Hassani, Agus Pulung Sasmito, Ali Ghoreishi Madiseh

Last modified: 11-10-2019


Preconditioning of hard rocks by microwave energy has recently been considered a potentially effective technology in mechanical rock breakage for civil and mining engineering. To obtain the amount of mechanical damage that a single-mode microwave treatment produces in rocks, it is necessary to analyze and evaluate the thermal cracking process by microwave heating at different power levels, exposure times, and distances from the antenna. The current study employs the scanning electron microscopy imaging technique to capture images from surfaces of irradiated rock specimens and to compare them with a nontreated specimen. To evaluate and quantify the amount of cracking (i.e. crack density, crack size, etc.) in a rock specimen after microwave irradiation with different microwave input operating parameters, the following steps were evaluated. First, several experiments of single-mode microwave treatments with different operating parameters were performed on rectangular specimens of basalt. Then, cylindrical core samples with a dimension of r = 0.5 cm, h = 2cm, were drilled from the center of the irradiated specimens and prepared for image processing. The results of the present study show that there are significant differences between the number of microcracks present in samples irradiated at different power levels and distances from the antenna. Also, longer exposure times result in more severe cracks.


microwave-assisted rock breakage, rock preconditioning, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), image analysis, single-mode microwave, basalt

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