The present paper occupies with the acoustic emission (AE) monitoring of fracture of marble. The specimens belong to two different material types and were tested in three-point bending after being ultrasonically interrogated. Consequently, they were repaired by means of suitable epoxy agent and mechanically re-loaded. Apart from the well-known correlation of pulse velocity to strength, which holds for the materials of this study as well, AE provides some unique insight in the fracture of the media. Parameters like the frequency content of the waveforms, and their duration among others show a transition in relation to the load. According to their strength class, the specimens exhibit distinct AE characteristics even at low load, enabling to judge their final strength class after having sustained just a small percentage of their ultimate capacity. More importantly, the AE activity during reloading indicates the quality of repair; specimens with good restoration of strength, exhibited similar AE activity to the intact specimens, while specimens with lower repaired capacity exhibited random behavior. This work discusses the passive monitoring of marble fracture and shows that AE parameters that have been used to successfully characterize cementitious materials, provide good results in monolithic materials like marble as well. It is suggested that AE monitoring during a proof loading can provide good information on the potential strength class, which is especially useful for repaired specimens, where the pulse velocity cannot be easily used.
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