History of Concrete
If you look around you, you’ll see concrete everywhere, from the sidewalks you push your kids’ strollers on to the foundations of most major commercial buildings (and residential buildings for that matter). Concrete is one of the most useful inventions of humanity. But how did concrete come about?
Phoscrete is a concrete repair material that is used to repair roads, expansion joints, parking decks, airport runways, potholes, and any other place concrete is cracked or broken. Our MALP concrete bonds quickly to existing concrete so it’s ready for traffic in as little as 30 minutes. Phoscrete is perfect for concrete repair as well. Below, we’ll go over the history of concrete. Order your DIY concrete repair kit online today!
HISTORY OF CONCRETE
Cement Versus Concrete
As we’ve discussed before on this blog, there is a difference between cement and concrete, but a lot of people confuse the two. The main thing to remember is that cement is an ingredient of concrete. Cement is a combination of ingredients, such as limestone, chalk, shale bits, sand, and other substances ground into a fine powder, along with gypsum. When water is added, chemical bonds form that leaves a rock-like substance behind. Add in some sand and rock aggregate to this paste-like mixture of fine powder and you have concrete. When concrete is wet, it can take on just about any shape. Today, almost all types of concrete use Portland cement.
Concrete is so popular for three main reasons:
As mentioned above, concrete can be made into any shape. Not many other substances on earth can boast of that fact. Concrete is long-lasting (think of all the ancient structures today still standing that are made of concrete, such as the Pantheon). Concrete essentially will last forever — even longer than steel. A scary prospect to think about, isn’t it? Due to the materials of concrete, concrete is cheap since most of the ingredients are natural products that occur in abundance on the earth’s surface.
The Discovery of Concrete
Like most ideas/discoveries, the idea of concrete was built upon by others who came before and was a process of trial and error. When ancient people set out to build homes, they would try materials and constantly look for ways to make their homes stronger. Thus, they would experiment with natural materials, mix them together, and see what worked.
The naturally-occurring stone limestone was used thousands of years ago to make structures out of, such as cisterns for storing water, because it could be easily shaped with primitive tools. The pyramids of the ancient Egyptians used limestone rocks that were hauled from nearby quarries. These were held together by a type of mortar that was a mixture of straw, mud, and crushed limestone and clay. Volcanic ash was added to the mix by the Minoans. And by 1300 BC, limestone was being mixed with water as it was discovered to form a hard layer when dried.
Phoscrete notes that we see early forms of cement (remember, an ingredient of concrete) show up in early civilizations, such as the ancient Chinese who used a type of cement to help build the Great Wall of China. Throughout the centuries, almost every building material available was used, including reeds, willow branches, wood, sand, mud, brick, and rice.
The actual discovery of concrete as we know it today is credited to the Romans who were the first to use the ingredients of today. They used limestone, ground-up rocks, sand, water, and volcanic ash that would build the roads that connected their empire and allowed them to conquer most of the known world in the early part of the first millennium. They discovered that by using molds, they could create amazing structures, such as vaults, domes, aqueducts, and bathhouses — many of which still stand today, having endured all the elements of Mother Nature for centuries. The Colosseum in Rome was built out of concrete, one of the most famous buildings in the world.
The Pantheon — not as famous as The Colosseum — was and is perhaps the greatest building ever built by the Romans. It features the world’s largest unreinforced dome that today would never be built due to the hazards with the oculus in the center. It is supported by concrete walls and brick only. When the Roman Empire died, so, too, did their recipe for concrete, which is a great loss to modern times. For instance, we know now that the dome of the Pantheon used more volcanic ash to make it lighter and the reinforcements used more aggregate, but the exact amounts are unknown, meaning we cannot recreate it. Such a shame.
CHOOSE PHOSCRETE FOR ALL YOUR CONCRETE REPAIR NEEDS
Phoscrete is the best concrete repair material available. Easy to use and incredibly strong, Phoscrete fixes spalled concrete bridges, roads, airport runways, parking decks, pool repair needs, broken walls and stairs, sidewalks, driveways, and anywhere else you find concrete. Phoscrete is an all-weather cement repair product that is long-lasting and fast-setting. Our MALP concrete forms a strong chemical bond to existing concrete. You can drastically reduce labor costs with our concrete patch repair rather than replacing an entire panel of concrete. In addition, you can save on material and time. Phoscrete mixes easily and perfectly with every batch. Our Top Rated Local® national concrete repair material is ready when you are. Start saving today, and order now!