Skip to main content

Mechanical responses of igneous rocks to microwave irradiation: a review


In order to explore the mechanism of microwave radiation damage to rocks and improve the efficiency of underground rock fragmentation, statistics have been conducted for nearly 40 years, and the heating effects of four types of igneous rocks (granite, basalt, syenite, and gabbro) after microwave irradiation have been analyzed. The attenuation of tensile and compressive strength, and the microwave response mechanism of igneous rocks are studied. The results show that under microwave energy of 0–50 kJ, the tensile and compressive strengths of rock do not change significantly; however, above 50 kJ, they decrease rapidly. With increasing contents of Fe-rich minerals in rock, such as pyroxene, microwaves have a greater fracturing effect, which is manifested as rapid attenuations in tensile and compressive strength. The wave velocity damage factor and tensile strength damage factor of igneous rocks increase with the increase of microwave energy.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12


Download references


This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41972288)

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Guogang Bai or Qiang Sun.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

Additional information

Edited by Prof. Jadwiga Anna Jarzyna (ASSOCIATE EDITOR) / Prof. Michał Malinowski (CO-EDITOR-IN-CHIEF).

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bai, G., Sun, Q., Jia, H. et al. Mechanical responses of igneous rocks to microwave irradiation: a review. Acta Geophys. 70, 1183–1192 (2022).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Microwave
  • Microwave energy
  • Heating rate
  • Rock strength
  • Rock crack