The origin of nonlinear current-voltage behavior in fiber-reinforced cement composites

A. D. Hixson, L. Y. Woo, M. A. Campo, Thomas O Mason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Two distinct slopes (resistances) are obtained in current-voltage (I-V) plots of discontinuous, conductive fiber-reinforced cement composites. The low-field resistance correlates with the DC resistance (RDC) of each composite. The high-field resistance correlates with the intermediate frequency cusp resistance (Rcusp) in Nyquist (-Zimag vs. Zreal) plots obtained using impedance spectroscopy (IS). A model is developed that is based on passive oxide film formation on copper or steel fiber surfaces at low fields (I-V) or low frequencies (IS) due to the high pH pore solution of cement paste. With increase of field, leading to film breakdown (active or transpassive corrosion behavior), or increase of frequency, leading to short-circuiting of the passive layer, the fibers act as short-circuiting elements in the composite microstructure, resulting in a decrease in overall resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)835-840
Number of pages6
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


  • Composite
  • Electrical properties
  • Electrochemical properties
  • Portland cement
  • Reinforcement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)


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