Stress-sensitivity of carbon nanotube-grafted-carbon fiber incorporated cement-based composites

Xiaoyan Liu*, Gangao Wang, Jinyao yu, Ruidan Liu, Kai Lyu, Junqing Zuo*, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The article studied the stress-sensitivity of carbon nanotube-grafted-carbon fiber incorporated cement-based composites under temperature and humidity, and further investigated the piezoresistive stability of the composite embedded in the concrete as a sensor. This study employed hydrothermal synthesis to graft carbon nanotubes (CNTs) onto the surface of carbon fibers (CFs) to prepare CNT-grafted-CF reinforced composites (CNT-CF). CNT-CF was added to cement to prepare CNT-CF incorporated cement-based composites (CNT-CF/CC). The connection of the conductive network and the micromorphology of CNT-CF in the cement matrix were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM). Four-electrode method was used to investigate the electrical conductivity. Cyclic loading test was performed to test the intelligent performance of CNT-CF/CC under different temperatures and humidity. The results demonstrated that compared with CFs, CNT-CF was surrounded by more hydration products. The CNTs on the surface of CFs increased the roughness of CFs. SEM images revealed that CNT-CF was more firmly bonded with the cement matrix. Moreover, CNT-CF/CC had better electrical and sensitive properties. Thus, it was explored for the application in stress-sensors for monitoring the change of stress in concrete. The results showed that smart concrete prepared by embedded stress-sensors also exhibited sensitive piezoresistive effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105589
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023


  • Carbon fibers (CFs)
  • Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)
  • Chemical grafting
  • Conductivity
  • Sensitive properties
  • Smart concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanics of Materials


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