Investigation of cement-sand-based piezoelectric composites

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A novel cement-sand-based piezoelectric smart composite was developed for conducting structural health monitoring for civil structures. To overcome the incompatibility between piezoelectric materials and reinforced concrete containing cement and sand, for the first time, sand was used to fabricate the new composite in this study. Two sets of specimens containing 30 and 50 vol% lead zirconate titanate were prepared using normal mixing and spread methods, followed by the characterization of the properties of the composites. The composite exhibited desirable piezoelectric strain and voltage coefficients. Furthermore, the dielectric constant and loss of the composite were also determined. The results indicated that the piezoelectric effect and dielectric constant were enhanced with increasing lead zirconate titanate content. Compressive tests were conducted to study the sensing effect of the composite. The investigation demonstrated the feasibility of using the new composite as sensors in structural health monitoring systems to prevent possible failure of civil structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1666-1672
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Author(s).


  • cement
  • dielectric properties
  • lead zirconate titanate
  • piezoelectric composites
  • piezoelectric properties


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