Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), nanofibers (CNFs) and graphene are promising components for next-generation high-performance structural and multifunctional composite materials. One of the largest obstacles to creating strong, electrically or thermally conductive CNT/CNF or graphene composites is the difficulty of achieving a good dispersion of the carbon nanomaterials in a matrix. Typically, time-consuming steps of carbon nanomaterial purification, ultrasound treatment and functionalization are required. We utilized a novel approach to fabricate composite materials by growing CNTs/CNFs directly on the surface of matrix, matrix precursor or filler particles. As the precursor matrix and fillers we utilized cement (clinker), copper powder, fly ash particles, calcinated soil and sand. Carbon nanomaterials were successfully grown on these materials without additional catalyst. Investigations of the physical properties of the composite materials based on these carbon-modified particles revealed enhanced mechanical and electrical properties. The improvement in the mechanical properties of the C/Cu-based composite materials is attributed the crystallite or grain formation of the matrix material.
- Carbon nanotube