Effect of microcrystalline and nano-fibrillated cellulose on the mechanical behavior and microstructure of cement pastes

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Letícia Oliveira de Souza - , Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (First author)
  • Marco Liebscher - , Chair of Construction Materials (Author)
  • Lourdes Maria Silva de Souza - , Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Author)
  • Flávio de Andrade Silva - , Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (Author)
  • Viktor Mechtcherine - , Chair of Construction Materials (Author)


When nanomaterials are added to cementitious materials, their microstructure and mechanical properties are affected. The most targeted effect of their use is the improvement of the composites’ mechanical performance. The present investigation brings the characterization of a cement paste reinforced with two different cellulosic inclusions: microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) and nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC), added in the contents of 0.050%, 0.075%, and 0.100%, in relation to cement weight. First, the morphology, crystallinity, surface area, and thermal decomposition of MCC and NFC were analyzed. Then, the composites’ microstructure was characterized by thermogravimetric analysis, X-ray diffraction, and porosity measurements. This analysis was made
considering the development of hydration between 3 and 28 days. Furthermore, their mechanical performance was investigated by compressive, flexural, and direct tensile tests at 28 days of hydration. Despite the differences regarding the morphologies and physical aspects between MCC and NFC, their inclusions resulted in positive effects on the flexural and tensile strengths. The cement pastes reinforced with 0.075% of MCC and NFC had their tensile strength enhanced by over 70% compared to the reference. Nevertheless, TGA and XRD analyses showed that the addition of MCC and NFC decreased the formation of all hydration products, except the calcium carbonate. Therefore, the combination of mechanical and microstructure analyses indicates that the tensile strength improvement obtained with the MCC and NFC addition was most likely due to their reinforcing capability.


Original languageEnglish
Article number133812
Number of pages11
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85174744312
unpaywall 10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2023.133812
Mendeley b6b83413-286e-345b-8782-2c917c25ab63


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Direct tensile test, Hydration evolution, Microcrystalline cellulose, Nanocellulose, Nanofibrillated cellulose

Library keywords