History of Modern Concrete

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When you have a need for the best concrete repair material, Phoscrete is the obvious choice, hands-down. This all-weather concrete patch repair works just as well in the cold as it does in the heat. With our DIY concrete repair, your residential concrete repair needs are easy, from driveway and pool repair to the cracks in your sidewalk. This quick-drying concrete is a must-have for all concrete and cement repairs. In our last blog post, we took a look at the history of early concrete. Today, we’ll continue with a look at the history of modern concrete. Shop our best concrete repair products today!

HISTORY OF MODERN CONCRETE

We ended with the creation of the Pantheon in ancient Rome around 128 AD. The Dark Ages came upon humans, taking the incredible recipe the Romans used for all of their amazing concrete structures with them. The Renaissance came about, and a man in France, using what information was available from the Romans on concrete built the Pont Notre-Dame Bridge in Paris. However, during this time, it was popular to build houses on bridges. Thus the weight of the houses required the bridge to be demolished. Surprisingly, this is the only recorded use of concrete in the Renaissance period (approximately 1300-1600 AD).

Slowly but surely, concrete began to make an appearance again, beginning in Germany when a bricklayer mixed volcanic ash with lime mortar. This process spread throughout Europe like wildfire as more people realized concrete’s uses.

What has been hailed as the rediscovery of concrete took place in 1793, more than 1000 years after the Romans. A builder in England was looking for the best material in which to build a lighthouse from. He took limestone, fired it in a kiln, ground it into a powder and then mixed it with water, making cement. This lighthouse stood for 130 years before the rocks underneath it eroded.

Like all discoveries, people began experimenting with cement to make it better. In 1824, we see the invention of Portland cement when an Englishman named Joseph Aspdin refined the process. He proportioned out the limestone chalk with clay and then removed the carbon dioxide by heating it up. He added in pulverized alumina and silica along with gypsum, creating the distinct Portland cement. The name comes from a nearby quarry.

From here, the sky’s the limit. Reinforced concrete was invented in the 1850s and allowed modern building to take place. Reinforced concrete is basically steel that is placed inside concrete (or the pouring of concrete over a steel mesh). This made concrete immensely stronger and is now the main ingredient of huge building projects, such as bridges and skyscrapers.

Ever wonder what rebar is? Phoscrete notes that rebar stands for “reinforced bar,” which is essentially concrete around a twisted iron bar that was first invented in the 1880s. Today, this process is still widely used, although now steel is used instead of iron. Found in commercial buildings, roads, bridges, and skyscrapers around the world, rebar was also one of the favored building materials of Frank Lloyd Wright. You can find rebar and reinforced concrete in Unity Temple, considered the world’s first modern building and in Fallingwater, his most celebrated work. To finish it out, prestressed steel was patented in the late 1880s to save on the amount of steel needed in concrete.

MODERN USES OF CONCRETE

Today, you will be hard pressed to find a building or construction project that does not use concrete. From the Panama Canal to the Sydney Opera House, concrete forms a major component of these building projects, and it’s safe to say that they wouldn’t exist without them. Concrete is used to build roads, bridges, high-rise buildings, homes, and dams. Concrete can now be colored (first colored in 1915) and ready-mixed on-site (first ready mix in 1913).

The Limitations of Modern Concrete

Every day, the loss of the Roman formula for concrete is felt. While concrete is impressive to say the least, it’s not permanent. Modern concrete can only last for about 100 years before it will need major repairs. Weathering can cause the rebar inside concrete to oxidize, causing it to expand and break the concrete. Saltwater harms rebar, and the constant freezing and dethawing of concrete only expands its cracks.

Now, bacteria is being added that secrete limestone to help seal cracks. “Self-cleaning” concrete contains titanium dioxide, which can break down smog and keep concrete white. Scientists currently are working on trying to discover the secret Roman formula for concrete. They know that volcanic ash called pozzolana was a foundational piece of the formula, so experiments remain on-going. If Roman concrete could be recreated and fused to rebar, there would be a major revolution in the concrete world.

DISCOVER THE BENEFITS OF PHOSCRETE

As you can see, concrete, despite its strength, is not invincible. The best way to extend the longevity of concrete is through on-going concrete repair with Phoscrete. Our concrete repair material is fast-acting and can be driven on within one hour, making it perfect for road repairs. It cuts down on labor costs and downtime, which is important to rush hour traffic. Our DIY concrete repair allows homeowners to repair their home needs as well, from the pool deck and patio to the driveway and even cracked foundations.

Phoscrete is easy to mix and makes the perfect amount per mixable quantity. This best concrete repair product is a top-notch MALP concrete that will stop rust. It works in all types of weather. With your normal concrete tools, phoscrete makes your job easier. Order our concrete repair material today!