This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of the carbon-based nanomaterial type on the electrical properties of cement paste. Three different nanomaterials, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), graphite nanofibers (GNFs), and graphene (G), were incorporated into the cement paste at a volume fraction of 1%. The self-sensing capacity of the cement composites was also investigated by comparing the compressive stress/strain behaviors by evaluating the fractional change of resistivity (FCR). The electrical resistivity of the plain cement paste was slightly reduced by adding 1 vol % GNFs and G, whereas a significant decrease of the resistivity was achieved by adding 1 vol % MWCNTs. At an identical volume fraction of 1%, the composites with MWCNTs provided the best self-sensing capacity with insignificant noise, followed by the composites containing GNFs and G. Therefore, the addition of MWCNTs was considered to be the most effective to improve the self-sensing capacity of the cement paste. Finally, the composites with 1 vol % MWCNTs exhibited a gauge factor of 113.2, which is much higher than commercially available strain gauges.
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