Electrical modelling of carbon nanotube cement-based sensors for structural dynamic monitoring

Antonella D'Alessandro, Filippo Ubertini, Annibale Luigi Materazzi, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Some of the authors have recently developed a new nanocomposite cement-based sensor, termed "carbon nanotube cement-based sensor", for applications in vibration-based structural health monitoring of civil structures. The sensor is made of a self-sensing cement paste doped with multi walled carbon nanotubes. The mechanical deformation of this composite material results into a measurable change of its electrical resistance. Previous work was devoted to fabrication, dynamic characterization and to implementation in full-scale structural components. This work addresses electrical modelling of the sensor, and specifically seeks to validate a lumped circuit model for use in dynamic sensing. After a brief overview of carbon nanotube cement-based sensors, the electrical model is presented. Salient parameters of the circuit are identified on sensors with varying electrodes' morphologies. The results indicate that the proposed equivalent circuit model is capable of closely replicating the step response of the sensor to an imposed potential difference. Notably, such linear model is likely to anticipate superharmonic components in the electrical current in the response to sinusoidal mechanical deformations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNANOFORUM 2013
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780735412378
StatePublished - 2014
EventNANOFORUM 2013 - Rome, Italy
Duration: Sep 18 2013Sep 20 2013

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616




  • Carbon nanotubes
  • Electrical model
  • Nanotechnology
  • Smart materials
  • Smart sensors
  • Structural health monitoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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