Nanotechnology Applications in the Construction Industry

Nanotechnology Applications in the Construction Industry

Iman Mansouri (Birjand University of Technology, Iran) and Elaheh Esmaeili (Birjand University of Technology, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0344-6.ch004
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Nanotechnology refers to the understanding and manipulation of materials on the nanoscale (<100 nm). This can lead to marked changes in material properties and can result in improved performance and new functionality. Nanomaterials with properties such as corrosion resistance, and strength and durability are of particular interests to construction professionals, because, these properties directly affect the selection of construction materials, erection methods, and on-site handling techniques. Applying nanotechnology to construction, in some cases, may result in visionary and paradigm-breaking advances. The incorporation of nanomaterials can improve structural efficiency, durability and strength of cementitious materials and can thereby assist in improving the quality and longevity of structures. This chapter tries to analyze nanotechnology in the context of construction and explores the current scenario of nanotechnology in the construction industry. In order to identify the potential benefits and existing barriers, an extensive literature review is conducted.
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2. Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology has been evidently identified as one of the key, cross-disciplinary areas of study for the next 20 years. Noteworthy investments are being made in nanotechnology research all around the world. Recent studies have known the construction industry as one of the chief possible consumers of nano structured materials (Bartos, 2006).

Nanotechnology is the manipulation or study of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Normally, nanotechnology works with materials, devices, and other structures with at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometers (P. N. Balaguru, 2005; Feynman, 1960; Sobolev, Flores, Hermosillo, & Torres-Martínez, 2008). In an original sense, nanotechnology denotes the ability to study or apply physical, chemical and biological systems at a scale ranging from few nanometers to submicron dimensions (Sobolev et al., 2008).

In general, the nanostructured materials are mainly classified to four groups; i.e. zero-dimentional (0D), one-dimentional (1D), two-dimentional (2D) and three-dimentional (3D) nanostructures, based on their dimensionality. Figure 1 exhibits some 0D nanostructured materials.

Figure 1.

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) images of 0D nanostructures: A) quantum dots; B) nanoparticles arrays; C) core-shell nanoparticles

Y. T. Kim, Han, Hong, & Kwon, 2010; Singh et al., 2012.

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