Jun 09

To improve today’s concrete, do as the Romans did (UC Berkeley, June 4, 2013):

BERKELEY – In a quest to make concrete more durable and sustainable, an international team of geologists and engineers has found inspiration in the ancient Romans, whose massive concrete structures have withstood the elements for more than 2,000 years.Using the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a research team from the University of California, Berkeley, examined the fine-scale structure of Roman concrete. It described for the first time how the extraordinarily stable compound – calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) – binds the material used to build some of the most enduring structures in Western civilization.The discovery could help improve the durability of modern concrete, which within 50 years often shows signs of degradation, particularly in ocean environments.

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