Project TitleHighly-Dispersed Carbon Nanotube-Reinforced Cement-Based Materials
Track Code2007-146
Short Description

Cement compositions and processing to enhance mechanical strength and minimize nanoscale crack formation.

#materials #cnt #nanotechnology #fabrication


Northwestern researchers have developed the process of creating cement compositions and enhancing their mechanical strength while minimizing nanoscale crack formation.  Most construction cements today are hydraulic and are composed of limestone, certain clay minerals and gypsum.  Microfiber reinforcement has led to significant improvement of cement mechanical properties, but flaws at the nanoscale remain.  While carbon nanotubes have also been shown to improve mechanical properties, their use is limited by poor dispersion and high cost.  To this end, Northwestern researchers have discovered a process that significantly improves the mechanical properties of cured cement.  Their method utilizes multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) at very low levels in conjunction with additives as well as specific mixing methods to provide excellent MWCNT dispersion in the cement matrix.  Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis of fracture surface reveals isolated MWCNT fibers with a high degree of dispersion in the matrix and an absence of cracking in the cementitious matrices at the nanoscale level.

Posted DateApr 21, 2011 10:08 AM


Surendra Shah*

Maria Konsta-Gdoutos

Zoi Metaxa


Cement Manufacturing


  • Simple process
  • Economical
  • Scalable
  • Compatible with existing cement fabrication
  • Inhibition of cracking at the nanoscale level


A patent application has been filed.

Contact Information

Zach Brown, PhD
Invention Associate
(p) 847-491-4629