Concrete is often thought of as a modern building material. But in fact it has age old roots! So far from being a material of the modern age, concrete has been used by builders and artists for hundreds of years.
It is termed the Roman Architectural Revolution, the event in the history of architecture which enabled roman architects to create huge buildings without the effort of chipping away at blocks of stone or building them brick by brick with mortar.
The famous Colosseum of Rome was built largely out of concrete, as was the Pantheon. In fact, the Pantheon boasts the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.
For the Romans, concrete was a new and revolutionary material. They could build a series of rounded structures - domes, arcs and vaults. Research has shown that Roman concrete has as much compressive strength as does modern cement concrete. But modern structural concrete differs from old Roman concrete in two central aspects.
Firstly, contemporary concrete is more fluid and homogeneous, and secondly we have learned to reinforce it with steel. This practice of putting steel inside of concrete structures gives our contemporary concrete a much greater strength in tension.
But how is it possible, then, that many of the architectural monuments and structures from ancient times are still up and standing to today? Research has shown that this has to do with the use of volcanic roch and ash! The calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate cementing binders gave the concrete a greater fracture resistance. The volcanic rock material it was made of also gave Roman concrete resistancy to seawater.
Pouring and surfacing concrete is our passion! The versatility of concrete caters to projects of so many shapes and forms that none is like the other. Here is a blog about the world of concrete - you will be suprised at what you find when you take a dive!