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Title: Tough Bio-Inspired Architected Cement-Based Materials

Author(s): Esmaeeli

Publication: Web Session

Volume: ws_S22_Esmaeeli.pdf


Appears on pages(s):



Date: 3/28/2022

There is a rising interest to design tough and damage-resistant brittle cement-based materials using layer-wise manufacturing techniques. However, overcoming the inherent brittleness and poor damage-tolerance of cementitious materials is a major challenge. Here, we propose a new design approach to achieve tough multi-material assemblies with bio-inspired architectures. We present a unique layer-by-layer manufacturing pathway to fabricate these multi-material assemblies of hardened cement paste and polymers. The mechanisms for enhancing the materials’ toughness and tailoring the mechanical response is drawn from biological materials and principles of fracture mechanics. The materials’ design parameters, including spatial orientations and characteristic length scale, along with the chemical composition of the constitutive materials were investigated and tuned to achieve the hypothesized improvement of fracture toughness. The Mechanics of damage and fracture was qualitatively examined using micro-computed tomography and scanning electron microscopy to inform the quantitative characterization of mechanical responses using flexural test. It was demonstrated that fabricating hardened cement paste-polymer assemblies with carefully designed architectures leads to significantly enhanced damage tolerance and fracture toughness compared to monolithic cast hardened cementitious counterparts.