Research and Development Project Cultural Heritage

Call: Support of New Enterprises for Research and Development Activities (National Project)

Monitoring of the structural integrity of restored structural parts in ancient monuments of cultural heritage by employing hybrid materials reinforced with carbon nanotubes

Project Number: 53NEW_B_2012

Website: N/A

The protection of the structural integrity of monuments of cultural heritage requires – among other things – the exact knowledge of the mechanical behavior of the materials from which monuments are made of. For this reason experimental studies are conducted both on building materials and composite structures that simulate parts of the monuments.

In these experiments, conventional techniques are commonly employed for measuring the deformations and displacements fields that allow the collection of information from the external surface of the specimens. However, they cannot provide information on what takes place internally (stress concentrations, local failures, micro-cracks), which precede the phenomena observed macroscopically. It therefore becomes arduous to understand correctly the failure mechanisms, and prevent the failure of the structure.

In the present project an innovative technique based on the use of chemically modified carbon nanotubes mixed with mortar will be evaluated and compared with conventional techniques. The addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in appropriately selected type of mortar aims at improving its mechanical properties and adapting the use of CNTs in restoration cases where enhanced mechanical strength is required.

This technique relies on the fact that any change in the deformation field of the modified mortar or any initiation of micro-cracks or defects alters the electrical conductivity of CNTs, and thus the conductivity of the mortar, leading to an efficient health monitoring of the structures.

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