Enhancing the interfacial bonding between PE fibers and cementitious matrices through polydopamine surface modification

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Ali Bashiri Rezaie - , Chair of Construction Materials (First author)
  • Marco Liebscher - , Chair of Construction Materials (Author)
  • Majid Ranjbarian - , Chair of Construction Materials (Author)
  • Frank Simon - , Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)
  • Cordelia Zimmerer - , Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)
  • Astrid Drechsler - , Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)
  • Ralf Frenzel - , Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden (Author)
  • Alla Synytska - , Leibniz Institute of Polymer Research Dresden, Technische Universität Dresden (Author)
  • Viktor Mechtcherine - , Chair of Construction Materials (Author)


High-performance polyethylene (PE) fibers possess unique features to develop advanced cementitious composites with superior mechanical properties. Nonetheless, due to their hydrophobic nature, such fibers can develop only a poor interfacial affinity between themselves and the water-based cementitious matrices, which restricts a full exploitation of their intrinsic properties. The work described here is an expeditious and environmentally friendly strategy to enhance the bond strength in PE fiber-reinforced cementitious composites through utilization of polydopamine (PDA) surface modification. Environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), water contact angle, and electrokinetic measurements were applied to characterize the surface properties of the fibers under investigation. Moreover, fiber-matrix interactions were assessed by single-fiber pullout from a cementitious matrix with respect to dopamine concentration and modification time. Compared to the unmodified reference sample, a noticeable increase in maximum pullout load, interfacial shear strength, and fiber pullout energy was achieved with the modified fibers. This was explained by the formation of active hydrophilic groups on the fiber surfaces, which groups enhance the fibers’ wettability and yield better interaction with the cementitious matrix. Furthermore, the modified fibers exhibit increased tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, and suitable stability in a highly alkaline environment as well.


Original languageEnglish
Article number108817
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2021


Research priority areas of TU Dresden

Subject groups, research areas, subject areas according to Destatis


  • Cementitious composites, Fiber-reinforced concrete, Interfacial properties improvement, Polydopamine, Polymer fibers

Library keywords