Natural and artificial micro-cracking in limestone: a model of response to freezing-thawing

  • Bost M
  • Dubied J
  • Sola P
 et al. 
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Abstract

Stones used in construction are exposed to a continuous freezing-thawing weathering mechanism. From a new frost resistance test, it can be inferred that the European standard for determining the frost resistance of natural stones is likely to be inappropriate for micro-cracked limestones. The experiments on artificially notched limestone specimens submitted to freezing-thawing cycles indicate that the stress generated during a freeze-thaw cycle plays an important role in the propagation of micro-cracks network. Freeze-thaw cycles create preferential paths of propagation for micro-cracks network in limestones. These failure paths in the rock matrix are deteriorating gradually from a cycle to another by the elimination of "contact points". These "contact points" are similar to rock bridges visible on potential failure surfaces of limestone cliffs. The quantity of "contact points" may be used to model the degree of deterioration of a micro-cracked stone.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ROCK

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Authors

  • M. Bost

  • J. S. Guedon Dubied

  • P Sola

  • J Estaire

  • C Olalla

  • M Bost

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