Department of laboratory research on geomaterials
Main research topics
- Geology of coal basins
Geological documentation of boreholes and mining works. Sedimentological and lithological analysis. Analysis of rock failure. Correlation horizons in coal basins (coal tonsteins, tuffites). The relation of geological structure to the location of gas outbursts and coal and gas accumulation). The anomalous structure of massifs (red beds, tectonic zones, contact metamorphism, hypergenous zones).
- Mineralogy and petrography
Sedimentary rocks (mineralogical composition, grain size, sorting coefficient, angularity and roundness of clasts, identification of carbonates and clay minerals, coal matter in sediments, petrographic classification of rocks). Other rock types (grain size, identification of minerals, alteration of rock-forming minerals, crystallochemistry, petrochemical recalculation and geochemistry, petrographic classification of rocks). Industrial materials (abrasive materials, micro-particles, silicate building materials – texture, structure, composition, grain size, identification of components and minerals, type and intensity of corrosion and alteration). Coal petrology (maceral analysis, mineralization of coal, failure analysis before and after loading tests, micro-hardness).
- Image processing and analysis of geomaterials and building materials
Digital imaging of geomaterials and building materials at microscopic and macroscopic level. Reconstruction imaging methods for visualization of microscopic objects. Quantitative image analysis of structures and textures. Analysis of shape, size and orientation of particles. Determination of porosity and pore size distribution. Quantification of line objects (intensity and orientation of micro-fracturing, fibre reinforcement, etc.). Quantification of geological documentation in photographs of underground working faces and rock profiles (proportional repre-sentation of rock types, discontinuities, tectonic zones, etc.).
- Study of physical properties of geomaterials
Basic: water content, porosity, mass and volume density, ultrasonic wave velocity, water absorption and related properties. Thermal conductivity, specific thermal capacity, thermal expansion. Permeability in a triaxial state of stress. Compression and tensile strength, the Young modulus, the Poisson ratio in uniaxial and triaxial state of stress. Measurement of permeability and ultrasonic wave velocity changes in processes of deformation.
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of geomaterials
The application of molecular spectroscopy in the mid-infrared region (4000 - 400 cm-1) to characterise various kinds of geomaterials (identification of individual minerals and mineral components in mixtures, determination of specific functional groups and the study of physicochemical changes in the structure of materials). The infrared spectra can be collected from the solid or liquid form of samples by means of selected measuring techniques: KBr disc, nujol suspension, single reflection ATR (diamond or ZnSe crystal).
- Thermal and thermo-mechanical analysis
Measuring simultaneous TGA/DTA curves of various kinds of organic and inorganic materials. The application of thermal analysis, especially in carbon materials, coal, rock and mineral research. The characterization of materials and changes in masses associated with the reactions at the final temperature of 1200°C and studying the thermodynamics of various processes.
Based on dilatometry, studying dimensional changes as a function of the temperature of various geomaterials during heating and/or cooling process at a certain rate, usually 3 – 30 K/min. Measurements can be carried out in various gases or air atmosphere.