Monitoring damage of concrete beams via self-sensing cement mortar coating with carbon nanotube-nano carbon black composite fillers

Liangsheng Qiu, Linwei Li, Ashraf Ashour, Siqi Ding, Baoguo Han

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Self-sensing concrete used in coating form for structural health monitoring of concrete structures has the merits of cost-effectiveness, offering protective effect on structural components, enabling electrical measurements unaffected by steel reinforcement and is also convenient to maintain and replace. This paper investigates the feasibility of using self-sensing cement mortar coating containing carbon nanotube-nano carbon black (CNT-NCB) composite fillers (CNCFs) for damage monitoring of concrete beams. The self-sensing cement mortar coated to concrete beams demonstrated outstanding electrical conductivity (resistivity ranging from 18 to 85 Ω·cm). Under monotonic flexural loadings, self-sensing cement mortar coating with 1.8 vol.% CNCFs featured sensitive self-sensing performance in terms of capturing the initiation of vertical cracks at pure bending span of concrete beams, with fractional change in resistivity (FCR) reaching up to 60.6%. Moreover, FCR variations of self-sensing cement mortar coating exhibited good synchronization and stability with the variation of mid-span deflections of concrete beams during cyclic flexural loadings irrespective of the contents of CNCFs and cyclic amplitudes. Remarkably, it was found that FCR of cement mortar coating basically showed a progressive upward tendency, representing irreversible increase in the resistance during cyclic loading. The irreversible residual FCR indicated the crack occurrence and damage accumulation of concrete beams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-648
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • coating
  • concrete beam
  • electrical resistivity
  • Self-sensing cement mortar
  • structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanical Engineering


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