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Multi-functional applications of graphene related materials in cementitious composites

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Magdalena Charytoniuk.

Cementitious composites are the most widely used construction materials with 4.1 billion tonnes of cement being produced globally in 2017. However, cement production is associated with ~7% of the total global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Moreover, concrete structures suffer from poor durability, with a fifth of the total civil engineering output in the UK being spent on repair and maintenance. The poor durability of concrete structures necessitates frequent inspections and an enhanced structural monitoring regime. Despite the advancements in material science over the years, cementitious composites remain passive structural materials and do not possess any functionalities.

This research aimed to take advantage of emerging graphene-related materials (GRMs) to solve the challenges associated with concrete infrastructure and to instigate additional functionalities that would make the material smarter. The homogenous dispersion of GRMs was investigated in detail, followed by their effect on the early age, mechanical and permeability performance of cement pastes and mortars. The use of GRMs to improve the electrical conductivity performance was also investigated, with the aim to create electrically conductive networks in the composite that could then be used to monitor changes in loading or damage, by triggering a self-sensing response. Finally, the key findings from a Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) study that was undertaken to establish the sustainability performance of a novel GNP -cement composite, will also be presented.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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