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10.07.2020 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 10/2020

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 10/2020

Artificial microcracking of granites subjected to salt crystallization aging test

Zeitschrift:
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment > Ausgabe 10/2020
Autoren:
Ahmad Zalooli, Mashalah Khamehchiyan, Mohammad Reza Nikudel, David Martín Freire-Lista, Rafael Fort, Shahram Ghasemi

Abstract

Salt crystallization-induced decay of Vardavard granodiorite and Shirkouh monzogranite, two Iranian building stones, were assessed with two non-destructive methods: saturation-buoyancy technique and P- and S-wave velocity measurement. Moreover, polarized and fluorescence microscopy studies were used to evaluate the behavior of the studied stones at microscopic scale against a salt crystallization aging test. The aging test extended pre-existing microcracks and generated new ones. Intracrystalline microcracking was the most predominant microcrack type for both samples. Fine-grained Vardavard granodiorite experienced higher intercrystalline microcracking than coarse-grained Shirkouh monzogranite. The microcracking mechanism of feldspars substantially depends on their alteration degree and microstructural precursors. When a growing microcrack reaches a biotite, it propagates within the crystal if the growing microcrack coincides with the cleavage plane; otherwise, it propagates as an intercrystalline one. The increase in maximum microcrack length of the samples was higher than the increase in their mean microcrack length. Low-strength Vardavard granodiorite showed higher microcrack width after the aging test. Dry weight loss in low-strength Vardavard granodiorite was more pronounced than in high-strength Shirkouh monzogranite. Dry unit weight decreased at a higher rate than saturated unit weight with the increase of effective porosity. The reduction in ultrasonic wave velocities and the increment in effective porosity and water absorption were more pronounced for Vardavard granodiorite, indicating a higher degree of decay, i.e., higher microcrack generation, enlargement, and widening. Shirkouh monzogranite, which has large-sized crystals and pores, wider initial microcracks, high tensile strength, and low effective porosity and microcrack density, was more durable than Vardavard granodiorite.

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