You’d be hard pushed to picture our modern existence without concrete. Due to the amazing strength and flexibility, this man-made material is used to build everything from superhighways to kitchen countertops.
However, bet you didn’t know that people have been applying the benefits of concrete for thousands of years? By 700 BC, Bedouin merchants had developed concrete materials used to build secret underground water tanks that helped them survive in the desert.
Want to know more? Here are some more interesting facts about concrete:
1. Reinforced concrete is the only construction material totally fire and water resistant
Concrete is almost completely impervious to fire. It does not burn, cannot be burned, and does not release toxic fumes when coming into contact with fire. It also has a slow thermal conductivity rate – or transference of heat – making it an excellent fire protection. This is why structures made of concrete can withstand fire when everything around would go up in flames.
2. Concrete is the best material for road construction
Even though the initial build costs may be a little higher than using asphalt, roads made of concrete last far longer and need less maintenance – making it the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly options in the long term.
3. Concrete was a building material used by the Ancient Romans
Builders of the time mixed volcanic ash, lime and water to create their concrete mix. The famous civil engineer, Vitruvius even wrote about the four types of ‘pozzolana’ – red, black, grey and white. The Romans recognised the waterproofing quality of the new building material and used it to build their port at Cosa.
4. During WWII, the British Army benefited from concrete for defence
Before there was radar to use, the British established a system commonly called ‘listening ear’ – to detect incoming aircraft. A concrete sound reflector of the network was built along the coast of the UK during the early days of World War II and can still be seen today. For all your Concrete Pumping needs, visit a site like https://www.monstermixconcrete.co.uk/concrete-pumping/
5. The only material suitable for underwater structures is reinforced concrete
Because cement aggregates, it is possible to create various mixes for specific uses. Pozzolanic cement is produced by grinding Portland cement clinker with a pozzolanic – suitable for the construction of submerged structures like piers, tunnels, dams and sewers works. Not only is this particular concrete versatile but its highly waterproof qualities put it above steel or wood for underwater construction.
6. The biggest concrete structure on earth is in China
The Three Gorges Dam, located on the Yangtze River is the biggest structure made from concrete on earth. It stands 185 meters tall and over 2,300 in length. Built between 1994 and 2006, the hydropower station dam can generate 22,500 MW of power. The reservoir contains as much water as Lake Superior in the U.S and the creation of the reservoir forced 1.3 million people to move from their homes.