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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
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  3. In order to achieve effective monitoring of concrete structures for sound structural health, the addition of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into cementitious materials offers a promising solution for fabricating CNT-modified smart concrete with self-sensing ability. This study investigated the influences of CNT dispersion method, water/cement (W/C) ratio, and concrete constituents on the piezoelectric properties of CNT-modified cementitious materials. Three CNT dispersion methods (direct mixing, sodium dodecyl benzenesulfonate (NaDDBS) and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) surface treatment), three W/C ratios (0.4, 0.5, and 0.6), and three concrete constituent compositions (pure cement, cement/sand, and cement/sand/coarse aggregate) were considered. The experimental results showed that CNT-modified cementitious materials with CMC surface treatment had valid and consistent piezoelectric responses to external loading. The piezoelectric sensitivity improved significantly with increased W/C ratio and reduced progressively with the addition of sand and coarse aggregates. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    Partial differential equations (PDEs) are used with huge success to model phenomena across all scientific and engineering disciplines. However, across an equally wide swath, there exist situations in which PDEs fail to adequately model observed phenomena, or are not the best available model for that purpose. On the other hand, in many situations, nonlocal models that account for interaction occurring at a distance have been shown to more faithfully and effectively model observed phenomena that involve possible singularities and other anomalies. In this article we consider a generic nonlocal model, beginning with a short review of its definition, the properties of its solution, its mathematical analysis and of specific concrete examples. We then provide extensive discussions about numerical methods, including finite element, finite difference and spectral methods, for determining approximate solutions of the nonlocal models considered. In that discussion, we pay particular attention to a special class of nonlocal models that are the most widely studied in the literature, namely those involving fractional derivatives. The article ends with brief considerations of several modelling and algorithmic extensions, which serve to show the wide applicability of nonlocal modelling. 
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