Concrete is one of the oldest and most versatile construction materials.
Interestingly, the demand for concrete has not diminished a single bit with the passing years. In fact, the substance has found new and innovative uses in building sturdy structures.
Do you know some of the oldest buildings standing today were made with concrete?
Examples include the Great Wall of China, Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, and Burj Khalifa.
Moreover, modern construction projects have not failed to recognize the rich past of concrete.
With Changes in Concrete with Time, we have witnessed its use in big projects like roadways to smaller undertakings like a kitchen countertop.
The uses are truly limitless. And construction engineering has made it possible to envision much more in the near future.
Today, we will reflect on the glorious history and Evolution of Concrete with time.
A Short Overview of the History of Concrete
Human communities have used concrete for time immemorial. While it’s tough to estimate the exact timeline, records indicate the history of concrete goes beyond 8,000 years.
Some remarkable times in history that marked the historical value of concrete are:
- 6,500 B.C: The earliest concrete structures were built in Syria and Jordan. During this time, the Nabataea traders created concrete floors and housing structures.
- 3,000 B.C: It was around this time that the Great Wall of China was built with a form of cement.
- 600 B.C: By this time, the Greeks had discovered a natural substance that had hydraulic properties when they mixed it with lime. Though they were the first to utilize the material, they weren’t as prolific with the use as the Romans.
- 200 B.C: This was the time when the Romans were successful in the use of concrete to build the world’s longest lasting structures. Their concrete mixture had volcanic ash, seawater, and lime. Though, this is something quite different than how we form concrete mixes today.
- 1793: After the diminishing interest in concrete, this year marked the revival of the building material. John Smeaton came up with a method of producing hydraulic lime for cement.
- 1824: Joseph Aspdin invented Portland cement. Now, this was a stronger form of material made by burning finely ground chalk and clay.
In the late 1800s, the use of Steel Reinforced Concrete for industrial buildings was starting to become common.
After these primitive years, there was widespread use of concrete in residential constructions too.
Here are some of the changes over the years affecting modern concrete constructions.
Evolution of Concrete Over Last Years
Concrete, as a construction material, has changed quite a bit to meet modern industrial demands.
Here are some of those changes.
#1. Evolution in the Forms of Concrete
Today, there are so many types of concrete used according to the needs of the project.
Some of the most commonly used ones are:
- Modern Concrete – Created by mixing Portland cement with aggregate and water-chemical mixtures.
- High-Strength Concrete – It has high Concrete Compressive Strength but dries much faster. A superplasticizer in the mix helps maintain workability.
- Stamped Concrete – Patterned or embossed concrete to resemble the appearance of brick, stones, or other textures.
- Limecrete – A type of concrete that uses natural hydraulic lime. This has environmental benefits and mold growth prevention.
#2. Changes in Concrete Mix Design
Portland cement made from clay and limestone has been the standard for a long time in the concrete construction.
However, manufacturers are now adding other materials to form Concrete Mix Design. These blended cement can have fly ash or even volcanic ash. The use of different materials encourages enhanced durability and supports the curing process as well.
Moreover, it’s this versatility of the concrete mixtures that enables a Concrete Pumping Company to enhance the efficiency of the construction process.
#3. Pre-Moistened Aggregate Material
The production process of concrete has changed allowing for the use of new aggregate materials. Some most commonly used aggregates for making concrete have been gravel, sand, and crushed rock.
However, now concrete manufacturers also add pre-moistened aggregates to the mix. These lightweight materials have greatly improved the curing process.
What this means is there are less occurrences of concrete losing its shape and cracking during the curing process. Thus, it ends up improving the overall durability of the concrete structure.
#4. Eco-Friendly Manufacturing Methods
Over the years, the introduction of eco-friendly concrete manufacturing techniques have helped reduce the waste in landfills.
For instance, many manufacturers now use concrete mixes that don’t lead to too much carbon emissions. This makes the air more clean and breathable for people working at the construction site.
Furthermore, Recycling of Concrete has also become common nowadays. Many manufacturers take old concrete and use it as an aggregate with asphalt.
Evidently, concrete has stood the test of time. The material has proven to be a reliable component for maintaining the structural integrity of buildings for years.
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