Observations of Microcracking and Pore Collapse in Limestone Using Liquid Metal Porosimetry

by Ziqiong Zheng, Terra Tek Inc., Salt Lake City, United States,
Neville G. W. Cook, Terra Tek Inc., Salt Lake City, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Mechanics Computing in 1990's and Beyond


A technique has been developed to preserve and observe the microstructure of rock or other porous material, as they exist under stresses, using liquid metal porosimetry. Cylindrical specimens of Indiana limestone were tested under different compressive stress conditions using liquid metal alloy as pore fluid. The metal alloy in this study is Cerrosafe, which has a melting point ranging from 71.1°C to 87.8°C. Specimens were submerged in the liquid metal (at a temperature of 92°C) during tests and the alloy was driven into voids and fractures in the specimens by a pore pressure of 10 MPa. Microcracks with apertures as fine as 0.1 μm were observed. This technique serves both to preserve the void space of stress-induced microcracks and collapsed pores as they exist under stress as well as to maintain the integrity of the specimen during subsequent handling.

Subject Headings: Alloys | Cracking | Material failures | Limestone | Metals (chemical) | Voids | Compressive strength | Microstructure | Indiana | United States

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