Project Title

Multifunctional Composites for Sustainable Civil Infrastructure Systems

Collaborating Universities

University of Virginia
351 McCormick Dr.
P.O. Box 400742
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4742

Principal Investigator(s)

Osman Ozbulut (UVa)

Start Date


Completion Date



To enhance longevity and structural performance, next generation infrastructure systems must integrate high performance material and structural systems that are durable and safe, and health monitoring systems that can obtain real-time data on the condition of structures and timely detect anomalies in the structural performance. Multifunctional composites that are intrinsically smart and durable can avoid deployment of two separate systems (high performance structural systems and health monitoring systems) to achieve this goal. This project will explore the design, fabrication, and implementation of multifunctional cementitious and polymer composites. The proposed multifunctional composites will exploit intrinsic smart properties of shape memory alloy (SMA) fibers. SMAs are a class of metallic alloys that have unique properties such as high strength, large deformation capability, good ductility and damping capacity, long fatigue life, large electrical resistivity and excellent re-centering ability. Using a multiscale micromechanics-based design approach that has been successfully employed in development of various high performance fiber reinforced cementitious composites, the development of SMA-based multifunctional cementitious composites will be explored to simultaneously achieve strain hardening, self-centering, crack width control, high energy absorption and self-monitoring abilities in a single cementitious composite material. In addition, the use of SMA fibers in a thermoset epoxy matrix and shape memory polymer matrix will be investigated.


This project will result in a final research report that documents the project, including experimental tests, project data, findings, and recommendations of the research. It is anticipated that this report will clearly and comprehensively document all aspects of the research program.


Due to their high damage resistance and durability, SMA-based multifunctional composites can perform satisfactorily in critical infrastructure while providing distributed damage sensing capabilities

Web Links to Reports and to the Project website