Due to various advantages including high efficiency, energy-saving, and having no secondary pollution (no dust or noise), the technology of microwave-induced fracturing of hard rock has been considered as a potential method for rock fracturing and breaking. Realizing microwave-assisted mechanical rock cutting using the microwave-induced hard rock fracturing technique can prolong the mechanical life and improve the efficiency of rock-breaking operations. For example, to realize microwave-assisted TBM excavation for hard rock tunnel. At present, this technology is still in the laboratory research stage. By summarizing the research results of relevant scholars in this field, this paper generalizes the mechanism of microwave heating of rock, microwave heating system, heating characteristics, and the effect of microwave heating on rock cracking and mechanical properties. Microwave heating causes microscopic cracks on the surface of the rock and microscopic cracks inside the rock. The higher the microwave power, the longer the irradiation time, the more serious the cracks propagation. Uniaxial compressive, Brazilian tensile, and point load strengths all decreased with increasing microwave irradiation time at rates that were positively related to the power level. The conventional triaxial compressive strength of basalt samples decreased linearly with microwave irradiation time, and the higher the confining pressure, the smaller the reduction in the strength of basalt samples after microwave treatment. In addition, the elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio of basalts decreased in a quasi-linear manner with the growth of microwave irradiation time under uniaxial compression. While microwave irradiation has a slight influence on elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio under triaxial compression. The cohesion decreases with increasing microwave irradiation time and shows an approximately linear decrease over time.
Part of the book: Microwave Heating