Nanotechnology has a significant impact in the construction sector. Several applications have been developed for the sector to improve the durability and enhanced performance of construction components, energy efficiency and safety of the buildings, facilitating the ease of maintenance and to provide increased living comfort.
The nanomaterials mainly used in construction with their benefits are briefed below:
- Carbon nanotubes – Expected benefits are mechanical durability and crack prevention (in cement); enhanced mechanical and thermal properties (in ceramics); real-time structural health monitoring (NEMS/MEMS); and effective electron mediation (in solar cells).
- Silicon dioxide nanoparticles – Expected benefits are reinforcement in mechanical strength (in concrete); coolant, light transmission, and fire resistance (in ceramics); flame-proofing and anti-reflection (in windows).
- Titanium dioxide nanoparticles – Expected benefits are rapid hydration, increased degree of hydration, and self-cleaning (in concrete); superhydrophilicity, anti-fogging, and fouling-resistance (in windows); non-utility electricity generation (in solar cells).
- Iron oxide nanoparticles – Expected benefits are increased compressive strength and abrasion-resistant in concrete.
- Copper nanoparticles – Expected benefits are weldability, corrosion resistance, and formability in steel.
- Silver nanoparticles – Expected benefits are biocidal activity in coatings and paints.
- Quantum dots – Expected benefits are effective electron mediation in solar cells.