Tanvir Manzur

Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Nur Yazdani


Nanotechnology or Nano-science, considered the forth industrial revolution, has received considerable attention in the past decade. The physical properties of a nano-scaled material are entirely different than that of bulk materials. With the emerging nanotechnology, one can build material block atom by atom. Therefore, through nanotechnology it is possible to enhance and control the physical properties of materials to a great extent. Composites such as concrete materials have very high strength and Young's modulus but relatively low toughness and ductility due to their covalent bonding between atoms and lacking of slip systems in the crystal structures. However, the strength and life of concrete structures are determined by the microstructure and mass transfer at nano scale. Cementitious composites are amenable to manipulation through nanotechnology due to the physical behavior and size of hydration products. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) are nearly ideal reinforcing agent due to extremely high aspect ratios and ultra high strengths. So there is a great potential to utilize CNT in producing new cement based composite materials.It is evident from the review of past literature that mechanical properties of nanotubes reinforced cementitious composites have been highly variable. Some researches yielded improvement in performance of CNT-cement composites as compared to plain cement samples, while other resulted in inconsequential changes in mechanical properties. Even in some cases considerable less strengths and modulus were obtained. Another major difficulty of producing CNT reinforced cementitious composites is the attainment of homogeneous dispersion of nanotubes into cement but no standard procedures to mix CNT within the cement is available. CNT attract more water to adhere to their surface due to their high aspect ratio which eventually results in less workability of the cement mix. Therefore, it is extremely important to develop a suitable mixing technique and an optimum mix proportion to produce CNT reinforced cement composites. In this study, an extensive parametric study has been conducted using different types of treated and untreated multi walled nanotubes (MWNT) as reinforcement of cementitious composites having different mix proportions. It is found that mixing of nanotubes within cement matrix is the key to develop composites having desirable properties. A mixing technique has been proposed to address the issues related to dispersion of nanotubes within cement matrix. Polycarboxylate based super plasticizer has been proposed to use as surfactant. It is evident that there exists an optimum concentration of MWNT and mix proportion to achieve proper reinforcement behavior and strength properties. The affect of size of MWNT on strengths (both compressive and flexure) of composites has also been investigated. Based on the parametric study and statistical analysis, a tentative optimum mix proportion has been proposed. Composites made by the proposed mixing technique and design mix obtained 26, 27 and 16% higher compressive strength as compared to control samples at the age of 3, 7 and 28 day, respectively. Flexural strengths of those composites at 3, 7 and 28 day were about 24, 24.5 and 20% higher than that of control samples, respectively. It has also been suggested that application of MWNT reinforced cement mortar as concrete repair material has excellent potential since composites exhibited desirable behavior in setting time, bleeding and slant shear.


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington