In this study, pure and NH$_2$-functionalized graphene oxide (GO) nanosheets have been added to the cement mortar with different weight percents (0.05, 0.10, 0.15, 0.20 and 0.25 wt%). In addition, the effects of functionalizing GO on the microstructure and mechanical properties (flexural/compressive strengths) of cement composite have been investigated for the first time. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that GO filledthe pores and well dispersed in concrete matrix, whereas exceeding GO additive from 0.10 wt% caused the formation of agglomerates and microcracks. In addition, mercury intrusion porosimetry confirmed the significant effects of GO and functionalizing groups on filling the pores. NH2-functionalizing helped to improve the cohesion between GO nanosheets and cement composite. Compressive strengths increased from 39 MPa for the sample without GO to54.23 MPa for the cement composites containing 0.10 wt% of NH$_2$-functionalized GO. Moreover, the flexural strength increased to 23.4 and 38.4% by compositing the cement paste with 0.10 wt% of pure and NH$_2$-functionalized GO, compared to the sample without GO, respectively. It was shown that functionalizing considerably enhanced the mechanical properties of GO/cement composite due to the interfacial strength between calcium silicatehydrates (C-S-H) gel and functionalized GO nanosheets as observed in SEM images. The morphological results were in good agreement with the trend obtained in mechanical properties of GO/cement composites.
Volume 43, 2020
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