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InfraRed Thermography proposed for the estimation of the Cooling Rate Index in the remote survey of rock masses

Pappalardo G.1, Mineo S.2, Perriello Zampelli S.2, Cubito A.3, Calcaterra D.2
1Università degli Studi di Catania, Corso Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy
2Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Largo San Marcellino 10, 80138 Napoli, Italy
3S.i. Geo, Piazza Municipio 6, 95015 Linguaglossa, CT, Italy
International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Mining Sciences 
volume 83, pages 182–196, 2016 
InfraRed Thermography has been tested herein for the study of the fracturing condition of intensely jointed rock masses, in order to find out what kind of information can be assessed. Although this technique is widely used in several scientific fields, its direct application for rock mechanics purposes is still under development. In this paper, thermal imaging campaigns, carried out in different climatic conditions, are described. A Cooling Rate Index, related to how fractured rock masses behave during the heat transfer towards the external environment, is proposed. Such an index has been related to the degree of fracturing of the rock masses, in order to find a relationship among thermal behavior and the main quantitative fracturing indexes. Results return interesting matches between some geostructural features and thermal outputs, demonstrating the reliability of the application of such methodology to bare rock masses. Moreover, new experimental considerations are proposed, laying the foundations for future studies aimed to further validate the InfraRed Thermography as an effective remote survey technique.
Keywords: InfraRed Thermography, Rock mass, Temperature, Geostructural survey, Cooling Rate Index