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Exfoliation and dispersion of boron nitride nanosheets to enhance ordinary Portland cement paste

Abstract

Exfoliation and dispersion of boron nitride nanosheets (BNNSs) is the key to achieving desired reinforcing effects for ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Few studies exist, however, of the dispersion of BNNSs in a cement-induced alkaline environment and their effect on the mechanical properties of normal OPC paste. In this study, protocols were developed to prepare BNNS-reinforced OPC paste. Ultrasonication was used to exfoliate BNNSs from h-BN in water based suspensions. The addition of surfactants in the suspension was found to hinder the exfoliation of the BNNSs. The surfactants were, however, found essential for dispersion of the BNNSs in pore solution. Among the three surfactants used in this study, polycarboxylate based superplasticizer was most suitable as it maintained over 40% of the BNNSs stable in pore solution for 4 hours and increased the hydration flow peak over 20%. Atomic force microscopy results indicated that the thickness of the BNNSs was mainly under 10nm. With the addition of 0.003wt% BNNSs, the compressive and tensile strengths of cement were increased by 13% and 8%, respectively. Besides the nucleation effect as indicated by hydration heat, pore structure refinement and chemical bonding were also found as the main reinforcing mechanisms of BNNSs in OPC matrix.

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Publication details

The article was accepted on 01 Dec 2017 and first published on 04 Dec 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07561H
Citation: Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Exfoliation and dispersion of boron nitride nanosheets to enhance ordinary Portland cement paste

    W. Wang, S. J. Chen, F. Basquiroto de Souza, B. Wu and W. Duan, Nanoscale, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07561H

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