Strain sensors can be embedded in civil engineering infrastructures to perform real-time service life monitoring. Here, the sensing capability of piezoresistive cement-based composites loaded with carbon black (CB) particles is investigated. Several composite mixtures, with a CB filler loading up to 10% of binder mass, were mechanically tested under cyclic uniaxial compression, registering variations in electrical resistance as a function of deformation. The results show a reversible piezoresistive behaviour and a quasi-linear relation between the fractional change in resistivity and the compressive strain, in particular for those compositions with higher amount of CB. Gage factors of 30 and 24 were found for compositions containing 7 and 10% of binder mass, respectively. These findings suggest that the CB-cement composites may be a promising active material to monitor compressive strain in civil infrastructures such as concrete bridges and roadways.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: AOM acknowledges support from the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology (PhD scholarship SFRH/BD/84644/2012). PMFJC is grateful to KAUST for financial support and dedicates this work to Arlindo Costa, on occasion of his 70th birthday.