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Smart concretes incorporating carbon nanotubes

Contact: PINAULT Mathieu, , mathieu.pinault@cea.fr, +33 1 69 08 91 87
The subject of the proposed internship is in the context of the development of 'smart' concretes, with the objective of developing methods for the preparation of original grades of concretes incorporating multi-layer carbon nanotubes, and then analyzing these materials in order to achieve measurements of electrical and mechanical properties of the materials developed.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Non
Deadline for application:13/05/2020

Full description:
The development of smart materials, born in the early 80's in the aerospace sector, today concerns all areas of activity, including concretes that become adaptive and evolving. "Smart concrete" is a concrete whose functions are written in the material. They allow it to behave like a sensor (signal detection) or as an actuator (action on their environment). They are thus able to modify their physical properties in response to an internal or external stress. These properties are obtained thanks to the incorporation of new elements: classically metal or polypropylene wires, or even carbon nanotubes, nanoparticles, ...
The subject of the proposed internship fits into this context and relies on the skills of two laboratories: LECBA, which has expertise in the preparation and study of concrete properties, and LEDNA whose expertise is based on knowledge -to do the synthesis and characterization of carbon nanotubes and composite materials integrating nanotubes. This collaborative work has already made it possible in 2019 to define a process for the elaboration of original grades of cement pastes incorporating multi-layer CNT, then to analyze these materials in terms of mechanical and electrical properties in order to study the effect of the incorporation of these nanofillers.
The proposed project aims to continue the development of specific preparation methods adapted to industrial formulations obtained from several forms of CNTs. The work of 2020 will focus on the synthesis and dispersion of CNTs for the production of microconcretes. Various characterization methods will be used to determine the distribution of nanotubes, their density, the viscosity or the setting time of the cementitious material (Vicat needle, TGA). Measurements of electrical and mechanical properties will also be made during this course. The adaptation of mechanical characterization techniques (Impulse Excitation Technique, nanoindentation, conventional compression, traction, cracking energy) to unusual small specimens will have to be taken into account.
In parallel with this experimental work, a bibliographic research work will be conducted in order to identify the latest advances in the field and to consider the prospects of applications.
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