Improvement of mechanical properties by incorporating graphene oxide into cement mortar

Xiangyu Li, Chenyang Li, Yanming Liu, Shu Jian Chen, C. M. Wang, Jay G. Sanjayan, Wen Hui Duan

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72 Citations (Scopus)


As a two-dimensional nanomaterial, graphene oxide has attracted much attention for its use in reinforcing cementitious materials. However, the dispersion of graphene oxide in cementitious materials has been found unsatisfactory due to crosslinking of divalent calcium ions. In this study, we propose a modified mixing procedure to improve graphene oxide dispersion in cement mortar by utilizing silica sand to mechanically separate graphene oxide nanosheets. Apart from the improved graphene oxide dispersion, adhesion between sand and cement matrix is also believed to be enhanced due to the improved roughness of the sand surface. According to our mechanical properties study, with the introduction of 0.02% by weight graphene oxide in cement mortar, compressive strength was significantly improved by more than 25% and tensile splitting and flexural strength were improved by around 15%. In a microstructural investigation, the interfacial transition zone in cement mortar was found to be denser due to the addition of graphene oxide. Moreover, graphene oxide incorporated cement mortar also showed pore structure refinement and porosity reduction. Therefore, improvement in mechanical properties may result from an improved interfacial transition zone and a more refined pore structure with the introduction of a small quantity of well-dispersed graphene oxide nanosheets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1313-1322
Number of pages10
JournalMechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures
Issue number15-16
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cement mortar
  • compressive strength
  • graphene oxide
  • interfacial transition zone
  • tensile splitting strength

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