Electric resistance and emissions of hydrogen and radon isotopes of concrete (which is somewhat similar to fault-zone materials) under increasing uniaxial compression were continuously monitored to check whether they show any pre- and post-failure changes that may correspond to similar changes reported for earthquakes. The results show that all these parameters generally begin to increase when the applied stresses reach 20% to 90% of the corresponding failure stresses, probably due to the occurrence and growth of dilatant microcracks in the specimens. The prefailure changes have different patterns for different specimens, probably because of differences in spatial and temporal distributions of the microcracks. The resistance shows large co-failure increases, and the gas emissions show large post-failure increases. The post-failure increase of radon persists longer and stays at a higher level than that of hydrogen, suggesting a difference in the emission mechanisms for these two kinds of gases. The H2 increase may be mainly due to chemical reaction at the crack surfaces while they are fresh, whereas the Rn increases may be mainly the result of the increased emanation area of such surfaces. The results suggest that monitoring of resistivity and gas emissions may be useful for predicting earthquakes and failures of concrete structures. ?? 1990 Birkha??user Verlag.
Additional publication details
Variations of electric resistance and H2 and Rn emissions of concrete blocks under increasing uniaxial compression