The world today would not be the same if concrete did not exist. With its incredible strength, durability, and versatility, the many structures we see today were only made possible because of this excellent building material.
Concrete has been in use since 700 BC, when Bedouin traders developed similar materials to build underground water cisterns. This unassuming material does not seem like it has a rich history rooted in the development of human civilisation, but the facts might just surprise you.
If you are here to learn more about concrete, you are in luck. Here are incredible facts about concrete you may have never heard before:
1. Cement is not the same as concrete
Many people interchange the terms cement and concrete, thinking that they are the same thing; they are not. Concrete is a mix of approximately 65% aggregates, 20% water, and only 15% cement. On the other hand, cement is just part of the materials used to make concrete and acts as a binder. There is no such thing as a cement road or a cement wall; they are all concrete!
2. Concrete is the best material for roads
You might think that asphalt is the best material for roads. While it is undoubtedly a common material, it is not the best. Concrete is, and the only reason it is not used as often is its slightly higher upfront cost. However, in the long run, concrete roads last a lot longer than asphalt roads, and they also require much less maintenance. It makes concrete one of the most cost-effective and environmentally-friendly choices for roads.
3. Concrete was used to detect enemy aircrafts
Back in World War Two, concrete was the British army’s radar. This was made possible by building great concrete sound reflectors along England’s coast. These mirrors acted much like a megaphone. Instead of the sound coming from the small end to the large end, it went the opposite. It funnelled sounds to a small point that could be easily heard, allowing the British navy to respond to potential naval attacks.
4. Concrete is incredibly resistant to compression
Concrete is well known for its incredibly high compressive strength. Generally measured in psi (pounds-per-square-inch), concrete can provide a compressive strength of anywhere between 21000 to 48000 kPa. However, some concrete mixtures are shown to resist up to 138,000 kPa, which is an incredible amount of pressure.
There are plenty of other facts about concrete, but we would need a whole book if we wanted to share them all. That said, concrete is truly an excellent material that has played an essential role in human history. From stunning ancient structures to the modern marvels of today, concrete has made all of them possible! Who knew this simple mixture of gravel, water, and cement would do so well in the construction world and make the dreams of many possible. It serves as the foundation of many buildings, but it is also a foundation of modern society.
Phoenix Reinforcing offers reinforcing sales, cage fabrication, building products, and more. We also provide complete delivery services to satisfy residential and commercial needs along the Sunshine Coast. Work with us today and get your concrete estimation!