This study attempted to investigate the self-sensing capability of Portland cement composites in sensing temperature and detecting damages through the measurements of materials’ thermoelectric properties. Specimens were made of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) with the water to cement ratio of 0.4. Temperature sensing property was characterized at various ages of the specimens from 28 to 49 days and at dried/moisturized conditions. It was found there exists an approximately linear relationship between temperature differences (ΔT) and the measured thermoelectric potentials, which is known as the Seebeck effect. This linearity was observed to be varied but able to be characterized for cement pastes at different ages and water saturation conditions. Mechanical loading that introduced different types and degrees of damages also translated into the variations of thermoelectric properties. Specifically, different types of compressive loads were tested for comparison. The study results have shown that Seebeck coefficient dropped with introduced damages, and restored with the subsequent re-curing as well as the continued cement hydration. Mild and moderate damages can be partially or fully restored, while severe damages that have resulted in significant drop of the Seebeck coefficients would restrain the self-restoration. Determination of the damage threshold was not yet revealed in this study, while it was shown obviously there existed one. Our investigation results indicated that characterizing the self-sensing capability of Portland cement composites is achievable through the measurements of thermoelectric properties. This study, in particular, has showcased the temperature sensing and damage detection capability.
Tsung-Chin Hou, Ko-Hung Tai, and Yu-Min Su, "Study on temperature and damage sensing capability of Portland cement paste through the thermoelectric measurements," Proc. SPIE 10169, Nondestructive Characterization and Monitoring of Advanced Materials, Aerospace, and Civil Infrastructure 2017, 1016919 (Presented at SPIE Smart Structures and Materials + Nondestructive Evaluation and Health Monitoring: March 28, 2017; Published: 8 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258596.
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