Scientists have finally discovered the forgotten formula for the concrete the Romans used.


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Scientists have finally discovered the forgotten formula for the concrete the Romans used.

The secret to Roman concrete lies in its unique mineral formulation and production technique. As the researchers explain in a press release outlining their findings, “The Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock. For underwater structures, lime and volcanic ash were mixed to form mortar, and this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. The lime was hydrated—incorporating water molecules into its structure—and reacted with the ash to cement the whole mixture together.”

The Portland cement formula crucially lacks the lyme and volcanic ash mixture. As a result, it doesn’t bind quite as well when compared with the Roman concrete, researchers found. It is this inferior binding property that explains why structures made of Portland cement tend to weaken and crack after a few decades of use, Jackson says.

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8 comments

  • jwing

    We can’t use Roman concrete…what will all those unionized road construction workers do if bridges don’t crumble and roads don’t erode.

    If Rome had unions there would be no Pantheon standing today.

  • D. K. Williams

    Good one, jwing.

  • D. K. Williams

    FIDVCIA ARCHITECTVRVS ROMANVM

  • jwing

    Thanks D.K.

    Yea, it speaks to the “genius” of the modern collevtivist ideology doesn’t it? NOT!

    I’m certainly not espousing that the humanitarian conditions of the Roman Empire were anything to emulate…they were hideous, but the engineering genius of Rome’s civil engineering is astounding, even by today’s technological standards.

  • Scott

    A monthly “tribute” may be required for use of this formula. I’ll have some of the boys stop by to talk it over whit-cha.

  • jwing

    Yo, Tawk about your concrete shoes.

  • Pzatchok

    Nice one guys. Your right though.

    We have been adding fly ash to concrete to make it harder and denser for many years. The only problem is that is expensive to add to the relatively cheap concrete.
    Part of that problem is that a large portion of fly ash is contaminated with heavy metals, poisons, and those need to be brought down to a safe level before its allowed into the concrete mix.
    And you can bet that the green gargoyles will classify volcanic ash as hazardous waste for the same reasons and not let it be used in construction. Unless something real expensive gets done to it to make it safe.
    Our loving environmentalists through their care for us and our environment will find a way to keep this from being used.
    Even though by adding the poisoned ash to concrete basically sequesters it away from people for about a thousand years or more.
    We only touch the surface of the concrete so we only get the toxins from the surface material. And really how much could that be in the end?

  • 2,000 years later, we begin to understand.

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