A deep learning based method for the non-destructive measuring of rock strength through hammering sound

Shuai Han, Heng Li, Mingchao Li, Timothy Rose

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Hammering rocks of different strengths can make different sounds. Geological engineers often use this method to approximate the strengths of rocks in geology surveys. This method is quick and convenient but subjective. Inspired by this problem, we present a new, non-destructive method for measuring the surface strengths of rocks based on deep neural network (DNN) and spectrogram analysis. All the hammering sounds are transformed into spectrograms firstly, and a clustering algorithm is presented to filter out the outliers of the spectrograms automatically. One of the most advanced image classification DNN, the Inception-ResNet-v2, is then re-trained with the spectrograms. The results show that the training accurate is up to 94.5%. Following this, three regression algorithms, including Support Vector Machine (SVM), K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN), and Random Forest (RF) are adopted to fit the relationship between the outputs of the DNN and the strength values. The tests show that KNN has the highest fitting accuracy, and SVM has the strongest generalization ability. The strengths (represented by rebound values) of almost all the samples can be predicted within an error of [-5, 5]. Overall, the proposed method has great potential in supporting the implementation of efficient rock strength measurement methods in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3484
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


  • Hammering sound
  • Non-destructive testing
  • Regression algorithm
  • Selecting samples
  • Spectrogram analysis
  • Transfer learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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