Surface Wave Inspection of Porous Ceramics and Rocks

  • Peter B. Nagy
  • Laszlo Adler


The most interesting feature of acoustic wave propagation in fluid-saturated porous media is the appearance of a second compressional wave, the so-called slow compressional wave, in addition to the conventional P (or fast) wave and the shear wave [1,2]. The slow compressional wave is essentially the motion of the fluid along the tortuous paths in the porous frame. This motion is strongly affected by viscous coupling between the fluid and the solid. Therefore, both the velocity and the attenuation of the slow wave greatly depend on the dynamic permeability of the porous frame. It was not until 1980, that Plona first experimentally observed the slow compressional wave in water-saturated porous ceramics at ultrasonic frequencies [3]. Only three years later, Feng and Johnson predicted the existence of a new slow surface mode on a fluid/fluid-saturated solid interface in addition to the well-known leaky-Rayleigh and true Stoneley modes [4,5]. The slow surface mode is basically the interface wave equivalent of the slow bulk mode, but there is a catch: the surface pores of the solid have to be closed so that this new mode can be observed. Otherwise, a surface vibration can propagate along the fluid/fluid-saturated porous solid interface without really moving the fluid since it can flow through the open pores without producing any significant reaction force. All previous efforts directed at the experimental observation of this new surface mode failed because of the extreme difficulty of closing the surface pores without closing all the pores close to the surface (e. g., by painting). On the other hand, it has been recently shown that surface tension itself could be sufficient to produce essentially closed-pore boundary conditions at the interface between a porous solid saturated with a wetting fluid, such as water or alcohol, and a non-wetting superstrate fluid, like air [6].


Surface Mode Shear Velocity Porous Glass Berea Sandstone Viscous Loss 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter B. Nagy
    • 1
  • Laszlo Adler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Welding EngineeringThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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