Hexagonal Boron Nitride Reinforced Multifunctional Concrete for Transportation Infrastructure

This project developed a new class of ultra-high performance, multifunctional concrete using emerging two-dimensional (2D) materials. The core strategy lies in mixing ultra-thin exfoliated nanosheets of 2D materials such as hexagonal boron nitride, hBN, as small as few atoms in thickness, in the bulk concrete. hBN exhibits several exotic properties (ultrahigh mechanical and thermal properties, chemical inertness, hydrophobicity, etc) that are highly desirable for a complex matrix such as concrete. These features, combined with the double surface area per mass of hBN sheets - compared to conventional 1D fibers - can act as template (seeds) to regulate the hydration processes and maximum contact between the sheets and the matrix, thereby providing an effective reinforcement from the bottom up. The project team studied several different routes to investigate the degree of exfoliation and reduction in size of hBN (to increase surface area) as well as their functionalization and water solubility in effectively mixing them in concrete. The project team synthesized various concrete coupons with variety of weight percentages of 2D materials. Notable among the project team's results are the compressive strength of the concrete cylinders that can increase by >71%, with only a very small fraction of the 2D materials. Furthermore, the team found the tensile strength of the concrete samples increases by >100%. The measured durability properties of the concrete samples also showed ~35% increase, compared to the control sample devoid of hBN. Following discussions with TxDOT and implementation requirements, the project team determined a patch/repair job on a surface of a road/highway to be a good starting point for field testing. The team examined the compatibility of their formula with common accelerators such as CaCl2 and found no negative cross-effect between their technology and common accelerators while exhibiting compressive strength of 1800 psi in only ~5 hours, making the technology suitable for rapid construction and/or maintenance in transportation applications. The final report is available.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $140000
  • Contract Numbers:

    20-30/IDEA 197

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Jawed, Inam

  • Performing Organizations:

    C-Crete Technologies

  • Principal Investigators:

    Shahsavari, Rouzbeh

  • Start Date: 20200720
  • Expected Completion Date: 20191031
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01745606
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: 20-30/IDEA 197
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jul 20 2020 3:08PM