Strain-rate-dependent performance of cementitious nanocomposites: nanosilica and the role of dispersion

Navid Tourani, Kwesi Sagoe-Crentsil, Wenhui Duan

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This study focused on the strain-rate-dependent effects of powder nanosilica (PNS) and its dispersion on the mechanical properties, fracture pattern and energy absorption of cement composites by investigating its quasi-static strain rate (QS), intermediate strain rate (ISR) and high strain rate (HSR) behaviour. To this end, a Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar equipped with a high-speed camera was utilised. Additionally, SEM and dispersion investigations were conducted to study the microstructural effects of PNS and its dispersion state, respectively, and link them to its mechanical contributions. We found that, although NS significantly improved QS properties, it negatively affected the dynamic (ISR and HSR) performance of the cement paste. These negative dynamic effects were found to be primarily controlled by the dispersion state of the nanomaterial. Although dispersing the PNS partially ameliorated the negative dynamic effects, it did not fully resolve them. The dispersion effect was more pronounced under HSR loading.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106966
Number of pages16
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Digital image correlation
  • Dispersion
  • High strain rate
  • Mechanical properties
  • Powder nanosilica
  • SEM
  • Split Hopkinson Pressure Bar

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