Strength and Electrical Properties of Cementitious Composite with Integrated Carbon Nanotubes

A Lushnikova and O Plé and YD Gomes and XH Jia and W Yang, MATERIALS, 16, 4771 (2023).

DOI: 10.3390/ma16134771

The main objective of this work was to study the effects of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on the strength and electrical properties of cement mortar. Molecular dynamic simulations (MDSs) were carried out to determine the mechanical and electrical properties of a cementitious composite and its associated mechanisms. To model the atomic structure of a calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) gel, tobermorite 11 & ANGS; was chosen. Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) embedded in a tobermorite structure were tested numerically. In particular, it was concluded that a piezoelectric effect can be effectively simulated by varying the concentration levels of carbon nanotubes. The deformation characteristics were analyzed by subjecting a sample to an electrical field of 250 MV/m in the z-direction in a simulation box. The results indicated a progressively stronger converse piezoelectric response with an increasing proportion of carbon nanotubes. Additionally, it was observed that the piezoelectric constant in the z-direction, denoted by d33, also increased correspondingly, thereby validating the potential for generating an electrical current during sample deformation. An innovative experiment was developed for the electrical characterization of a cementitious composite of carbon nanotubes. The results showed that the electrostatic current measurements exhibited a higher electric sensitivity for samples with a higher concentration of CNTs.

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