The electro-mechanical tensile properties of an engineered cementitious composite

Danah Saraireh, Benny Suryanto, John McCarter, Steven Walls

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The influence of ongoing cement hydration and multiple micro-crack formation on the electrical impedance of an engineered cementitious composite (ECC) is presented. Impedance measurements are obtained over the frequency range 20Hz-1MHz and displayed in Nyquist format; in addition, the permittivity and conductivity were de-embedded from the measured impedance and presented in both the time and frequency domains to elucidate the nature of conduction and polarization processes. It was shown that over the 90 d curing period, the ECC displays a classic impedance response. Both conductivity and relative permittivity are shown to be frequency dependent due to bulk relaxation processes operative within the composite. Tensile straining was shown to result in a detectable change in the impedance response, but retains a similar overall profile. When presented in the frequency domain, a downward displacement in both conductivity and relative permittivity profiles was evident with increasing tensile strain. It is shown that the relative permittivity at the high-frequency end could be exploited as a potentially useful indicator for strain/damage detection. The influence of micro-cracking on the piezo-resistive response of the composite is discussed based on crack patterns obtained from both visual observations and digital image correlation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAdvances in Cement Research
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2021


  • Electrical properties
  • composite materials
  • characterisation techniques
  • fibre-reinforcement
  • non-destructive testing


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