Plasma Magmavication of Geologic Materials

GRA: Tracy Hendren

Funded through Plasma Processing Enterprises by the Army Research Office/Raleigh. Several types of sedimentary rocks are problematic in civil engineering construction. These include: mudstones (landsliding and slope instablility), shales (expansive materials and swelling foundation support), and karstic limestones (soluble in water and sinkhole occurances). By utilization of plasma magmavication, these sedimentary rock types can be transformed into more durable igneous rock types.   Example applications may involve rock slide repair whereby the sliding rock masses or wedges and shear zones are welded together. Laboratory chamber tests are underway using cylindrical deposits of mudstone and shale obtained from a TN DOT highway project near Knoxville. The FL DOT is providing a source of problematic limestone. Tests are conducted using 100-kW and 240-kW plasma systems built by Plasma Energy Corporation/Raleigh.

January 27, 1998