Performance of cement composites reinforced with nanocelulose
Nanomaterials such as nanotubes and nanofibres have been successfully applied in various matrices to improve the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties, as well as intelligent features.
Concrete present several disadvantages including their fragile nature, poor resistance to cracking, low tensile strength and capacity for deformation. Isolated nano/micro cracks may develop into cracks, fissures and fractures, leading in many cases the collapse of the structure.
Currently, the use of nanomaterials is limited to cement matrices, with a long-term objective for the commercial application in concrete. Nanocellulose, obtained from cellulose, derives from various natural and renewable sources and promises to revolutionize many industrial sectors. It possesses advantages such as availability, biocompatibility, high mechanical properties, features and low cost compared to carbon nanotubes.
This PhD project aims at evaluating the performance of cement composites reinforced with nanocelulose by checking their behaviour, the macro and microstructure and characterization of mechanical properties. Thus, it seeks to develop a new generation of infrastructure materials from renewable raw materials, with high-performance and multifunctional character.
The concept of using as reinforcement nanocelulose derived from the knowledge on the possibility of exploring the high rigidity and strength of cellulose crystals in composite applications. It is expected that the reduced dimensions of nanocellulose with smaller spacing, and more interactions between cellulose and cement, must have a greater potential to combat microcracks and increase their resistance.
The research developed within this project will make an important contribution to the scarce studies on the application of nanocellulose in cement composites for building industry, seeking to improve the microstructure, mechanical performance and durability.
This project is funded by the Fundação Araucária – Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico do Paraná, Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná – UTFPR and was carried out within the framework of the PhD work developed by the researcher Aloysio Gomes de Souza Filho under the guidance of Prof. Raul Fangueiro and co-supervision of Prof. Romel Dias Vanderlei.