Influence of dispersants on the properties of CNTs reinforced cement-based materials

Hongyu Shao, Binmeng Chen, Bo Li, Shengwen Tang, Zongjin Li

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have attracted great attention due to their remarkable mechanical and electrical properties. Incorporation of CNTs can significantly improve the properties of cement-based materials, especially the electrical conductivity. However, agglomeration of CNTs is frequently encountered which can largely weaken the functionality of composites. In this work, enhanced dispersion of carbon nanotubes in cement-based materials has been achieved by using three dispersants and in combination with ultrasonic vibration. The influence of dispersants on the electrical conductivity and mechanical properties of cement paste incorporated with CNTs has been investigated. It is shown that enhanced dispersion of CNTs achieved by the use of dispersants significantly improves the electrical conductivity through the formation of electrical networks in the cement-based composite at mature stage. Air bubbles introduced by the dispersant in cement-based composites reduces its electrical conductivity significantly. Moreover, the air bubbles also lead to a large decrease of the compressive strength of CNTs reinforced cement-based composites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-194
Number of pages9
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2017


  • Air bubble
  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Cement
  • Dispersion
  • Electrical conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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