Effect of interfacial transition zone on the Young's modulus of carbon nanofiber reinforced cement concrete

Xingyi Zhu*, Yuan Gao, Ziwei Dai, David J. Corr, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

Identifying the properties of the region where the cement paste meets the aggregate surface (interfacial transition zone, ITZ) is critical to understanding the strength and fracture behavior of carbon nanofiber (CNF) reinforced cement concrete. In this study, the finite element method is employed to investigate the effect of the ITZ on the Young's modulus of cement concrete made with CNF. The numerical models for cement concrete with and without CNF are constructed based on the digital image processing technique. To consider the interface effect, the concept of “effective aggregate” is put forward, namely, the Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio for each aggregate particle are replaced by an effective Young's modulus and effective Poisson's ratio, in which the effect of thickness and the Young's modulus of ITZ is taken into account in an averaged manner. Then, the quantitative nanomechanical mapping (based on atomic force microscopy) technique is adopted to measure the Young's modulus and thickness of ITZ with and without CNFs, which are further used as the input parameters in the numerical model. The numerical simulation results are verified by experimental testing, which indicates that the ITZ effect should be considered when implementing the numerical simulation. In addition, this analysis shows that compared with the plain cement concrete, CNFs can greatly enhance the mechanical properties of ITZ, which will in turn improve the Young's modulus of cement concrete significantly. Finally, the effect of thickness and Young's modulus of ITZ on the Young's modulus of CNF reinforced cement concrete is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-63
Number of pages15
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Volume107
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2018

Keywords

  • Carbon nanofiber
  • Cement concrete
  • Effective aggregate model
  • Interfacial transition zone
  • Quantitative nanomechanical property mapping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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