Electrical and self-sensing properties of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete with carbon nanotubes

Ilhwan You, Doo Yeol Yoo, Sooho Kim, Min Jae Kim, Goangseup Zi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the electrical and self-sensing capacities of ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) with and without carbon nanotubes (CNTs). For this, the effects of steel fiber content, orientation, and pore water content on the electrical and piezoresistive properties of UHPFRC without CNTs were first evaluated. Then, the effect of CNT content on the self-sensing capacities of UHPFRC under compression and flexure was investigated. Test results indicated that higher steel fiber content, better fiber orientation, and higher amount of pore water led to higher electrical conductivity of UHPFRC. The effects of fiber orientation and drying condition on the electrical conductivity became minor as sufficiently high amount of steel fibers, 3% by volume, was added. Including only steel fibers did not impart UHPFRC with piezoresistive properties. Addition of CNTs substantially improved the electrical conductivity of UHPFRC. Under compression, UHPFRC with a CNT content of 0.3% or greater had a self-sensing ability that was activated by the formation of cracks, and better sensing capacity was achieved by including greater amount of CNTs. Furthermore, the pre-peak flexural behavior of UHPFRC was precisely simulated with a fractional change in resistivity when 0.3% CNTs were incorporated. The pre-cracking self-sensing capacity of UHPFRC with CNTs was more effective under tensile stress state than under compressive stress state.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2481
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIP; Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning) (No. 2017R1C1B2007589).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Electrical property
  • Self-sensing capacity
  • Steel fiber
  • Ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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