Have you ever wondered where concrete comes from? Concrete has been used in countless different ways all over the world, for centuries. The first instance of concrete-like materials being used was in 1300 BC by middle eastern builders, coating the outsides of their clay buildings with a material similar to today’s concrete. Ancient Romans began to popularize this practice in 600 BC. By 200 BC, the Romans had successfully implemented using concrete in a large majority of their construction.
In the early days of concrete construction, the material was made up of limestone or another aggregate, mixed with water and other materials. This recipe was interchanged many different times over the course of history but stayed steadfast with its crucial use to our societies.
It wasn’t until 1793 that concrete technology took a big leap forward. People discovered that a more modern way of creating concrete was producing hydraulic lime for the cement. They also used limestone that had clay mixed in, and ground it into a powder. Today, the mixture is pretty similar, using crushed limestone or other aggregate mixed with clay or shale. This mixture is heated in a kiln, then gypsum is added and ground into a powder, making the concrete we know today.
Some well-known artifacts and types of architecture have been made and constructed with concrete. Some of these great monuments include the Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, the Hoover Dam, highway systems and so much more.
Throughout history, people have continued to refine and perfect the quality and manufacturing of concrete. Despite the strength and durability of concrete today, it still may need repairs or touch ups over time.
The future of concrete construction is finding new and innovative ways to increase the durability and longevity of the product as well as finding other uses. There are endless innovations being made to construction with concrete, and it is such an amazing thing to see how far this material has come and how beneficial it is to our lives.
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