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10 Amazing Facts about Concrete

July 27, 2021

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The ancient Romans invented concrete, which forever altered the direction of architecture. This magnificent substance is well-known for its strength and durability, as well as its abundance. When they first used this material to create their buildings, there were a lot more differences than what we see today; however, these changes had no effect on its popularity among builders even centuries later!

From the walls that encircle us to the buildings we enter for work, concrete is all around us. So, it’s not a stretch to claim that we’re well-versed in this material. However, there are a few fascinating facts about concrete that may astound you.

Here are a few examples:

FACT 1

The Romans made the first concrete 2000 years ago and used lime from Mount Vesuvius, which is a volcano. In stark contrast to today’s typical composition of water, aggregate (gravel or sand), cement with air mixed in for bubble action. Concrete has come a long way since then so much that we are able to make it stronger than ever before by adding steel fibers rather than relying on just simple cement.

brown patterned stamped concrete

FACT 2

Concrete was used by the Romans, but it soon became forgotten. The Dark Ages had left concrete in ruin until builders rediscovered its usefulness during the Middle Ages and put their knowledge to good use once again!

FACT 3

A typical concrete mixture is composed of 60-75% aggregate, 15% water and cement, and 5 to 8 % air. Concrete mixtures are typically comprised of these three primary ingredients along with a small number of additional additives such as fabric retarders or accelerators that can be added in order to control the rate at which it hardens over time.

FACT 4

Cement was first invented in 1824 by Joseph Aspdin, a man from England. The invention of cement has been pivotal to the development of modern-day infrastructure and buildings because it is used as an adhesive that binds many types of building materials together. Portland Cement gets its name after a quarry on which hard stones were found – these are the most common ingredient in concrete nowadays!

FACT 5

According to a recent Washington Post article, China’s cement production has outpaced that of the United States throughout most of recorded history

.residential concrete walkway in Denver, CO

FACT 6

What is the weight of an average dam? Unlikely that it’s 144,309,356,753.51 pounds! The Three Gorges Dam on China’s Yangtze River certainly takes the cake when it comes to concrete-filled structures weighing in at a whopping 143 million metric tons. This makes for about 2 billion cubic meters worth of material—enough to fill 3000 Olympic swimming pools (or 120000 acres). The world’s heaviest and largest dam by volume was completed on June 26th, 2003 after 17 years of construction work with a total cost estimated over $20b USD ($24k/m3).

FACT 7

Christ the Redeemer is one of Brazil’s most well-known symbols. He was sculpted in 1930, and his face alone took over 1 year to carve by hand from soapstone! The entire statue has a weight equivalent to that of 635 tons (635 000kg) worth of concrete because it stands at 93 meters tall on top of Rio de Janeiro’s Corcovado Mountain. Despite all this hard work put into its construction, you can see Christ looking down kindly upon us with an outstretched arm – as if he were saying “Welcome!”

FACT 8

Concrete is a rocky material that melts at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. As the temperature gradually rises, water evaporates and sand turns into lava.

FACT 9

The first concrete road in Greenfield Township was built on Woodard Avenue. Construction of the roadway began in 1909 and it became a reality just six years later, providing residents with an easy way to get around their farm town.

FACT 10

It is said that the Romans did not know how to build a dome, but when they completed construction on their Pantheon and saw what was made of it – concrete – they were so amazed. The largest unreinforced concrete dome in history today remains as one of its most important landmarks with an open roof allowing natural light inside.

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