Investigation on dispersion of graphene oxide in cement composite using different surfactant treatments

Samuel Chuah, Wengui Li, Shu Jian Chen, Jay G. Sanjayan, Wen Hui Duan

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155 Citations (Scopus)


Graphene oxide (GO) is a novel class of two-dimensional nanoscale sheet material due to its excellent dispersibility in water, high aspect ratio and good intrinsic strengths. In order to obtain a well-distributed GO-reinforced cement composites, the dispersion of GO in water, alkali and several ionic species are investigated with the aid of UV–vis spectroscopy. High alkalinity and calcium ions are key factors inducing the agglomeration of GO in cement system. Dispersion of GO in simulated pore solution is the culmination of the alkali and salt experiments. Agglomeration of GO occurred when GO contacted with the simulated pore solution, highlighting the necessity to protect GO against such aggressive media. The test on surfactant compatibility was then carried out to ensure GO was effectively dispersed in polycarboxylate, air-entrainment and Gum Arabic admixtures within the pore solution. Polycarboxylate-based superplasticisers gave the most promising results to disperse GO in cement alkaline environment. Flexural experiments was performed to highlight the importance of fabrication protocol on the mechanical properties of GO-cement composites. The result shows that the amount of 0.03% GO by weight of cement can increase the flexural strength of GO-cement composite up to 67%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-527
Number of pages9
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2018


  • Cement paste
  • Dispersion
  • Flexural strength
  • Graphene oxide (GO)
  • Surfactant treatment

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