Cement-based composite is one of the essential building materials that has been widely used in infrastructure and facilities. During the service of cement-based materials, the performance of cement-based materials will be affected after the cement surface is exposed to pollutants. Not only can the surface of cement treated with a photocatalyst degrade pollutants, but it can also protect the cement-based materials from being destroyed. In this study, graphite carbon nitride-silica composite materials were synthesized by thermal polymerization using nanosilica and urea as raw materials. The effect of nanosilica content and specific surface area were investigated with the optimal condition attained to be 0.15 g and 300 m2
/g, respectively. An X-ray diffractometer, thermogravimetric analyzer, scanning electron microscope, a Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET) specific surface area analyzer and ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometer were utilized for the characterization of as-prepared graphite carbon nitride-silica composite materials. Subsequently, the surface of cement-based materials was treated with graphite carbon nitride-silica composite materials by the one-sided immersion and brushing methods for the study of photocatalytic performance. By comparing the degradation effect of Rhodamine B, it was found that the painting method is more suitable for the surface treatment of cement. In addition, through the reaction of calcium hydroxide and graphite carbon nitride-silica composite materials, it was found that the combination of graphite carbon nitride-silica composite materials and cement is through C-S-H gel.
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