Graphene-Induced Nano- and Microscale Modification of Polymer Structures in Cement Composite Systems

Z. Naseem, K. Sagoe-Crentsil, W. Duan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther


Redispersible polymers such as ethylene–vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) have attracted attention in construction due to their enhanced flexural strength, adhesion, flexibility and resistance against water penetration. However, EVA particles cluster in a highly alkaline cementitious matrix and exhibit poor interaction with the cement matrix. The underlying mechanism of poor dispersibility of EVA is attributed to hydrophobic groups of polymers, a variation in the adsorption rate and molecular diffusion to the interface where they cluster together. This phenomenon can negatively affect the fresh properties of cement and produce a weak microstructure, adversely affecting the resulting composites’ performance. This study highlights how graphene oxide (GO) nanomaterial alters the nano- and microscale structural characteristics of EVA to minimize the negative effects. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the GO sheets modify EVA’s clustered nanostructure and disperse it through electrostatic and steric interactions. Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed altered microscale structural characteristics (viz. surface features) by GO. The altered and enhanced material scale engineering performance, such as the compressive strength of the resulting cement composite, was notable.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanotechnology in Construction for Circular Economy - Proceedings of NICOM7
EditorsWenhui Duan, Lihai Zhang, Surendra P. Shah
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9789819933297
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventNanotechnology in Construction for Circular Economy 2022 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 31 Oct 20222 Nov 2022 (Proceedings)

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
Volume356 LNCE
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


ConferenceNanotechnology in Construction for Circular Economy 2022
Abbreviated titleNICOM 2022
Internet address


  • Cement composites
  • Dispersion
  • Ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer
  • Graphene oxide
  • Interactions

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