5 Surprising Facts About Concrete

Did you know concrete is the bed rock of the construction of human civilisation? Early forms of concrete existed from 6500BC, in what is now known as the United Arab Emirates, on the Arabian Peninsula. Here in Perth, Western Australia, we have abundance of high quality raw materials that mix in with cement to make the concrete we all know and use.

In this article we explore 5 often surprising facts about the marvel of concrete.

Concrete is often referred to as Cement – but they aren’t the same thing. Seriously.

So what makes them different?

The terms ‘concrete’ and ‘cement’ are often used interchangeably, however cement is actually an ingredient of concrete, as concrete is a mixture of Portland cement (not a brand name), together with sand and gravel, or crushed stone.

The Ancient Romans perfected concrete

While the Ancient Romans didn’t invent concrete, they did perfect its use and were the first utilise the material widespread.

By 600BC, Roman builders were mixing lime, water and volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius and called the concrete ‘Pozzolana.’ Roman civil engineer Vitruvius wrote about four types of Pozzolana – red, white, grey and black.

The Romans understood there were waterproof qualities of this remarkable new building material, and used it to construct their port at Cosa. Although the port reached its height in 100BC, three of its concrete piers have survived as a testament to the engineering know-how of the ancient world.

Concrete continues to strengthen for decades

Did you know? Some of the oldest buildings still standing today are made from concrete. Some of these concrete-constructed buildings are also some of the most technically advanced structures made to date. These structures include:

The Great Wall of China

Panama Canal

Hoover Dam

Burj Khalifa

These architectural marvels would not have been possible without the use of concrete for its economic value, structural stability, and limitless uses.

Reinforced concrete is the only building material that’s resistant to both water and fire

Because cement is an aggregate, it’s possible to develop different mixes for specific uses. Pozzolanic cement – prepared by grinding pozzolanic ‘clinker’ with Portland cement – is ideally suited for the construction of underwater structures like damns, piers, tunnels and sewer works. This concrete is not only especially versatile; it is also highly water-resistant and outperforms steel or wood for underwater construction.

The first concrete highway was built in 1909

The first concrete road was built in 1909 in Greenfield Township, now part of northwest Detroit. The 1 mile-long road cost $US13,492.83 and was built by the Wayne County Road Commission, of which Henry Ford was a member.

Up until that point, non-dirt roads had been built using bricks or cobblestones, or a mix of tar and stones called ‘macadam’ – all of which were tessellated, easily broken and bumpy to traverse across.

Why Us?

Our reputation speaks for itself. We are Carramar Resource Industries (CRI). As a supplier of a range of new and recycled concrete materials, CRI’s team of expert concrete specialists can tailor-fit to your requirements; from small, to ultra-large scale projects, i.e. – from the house to the highway, and beyond.

If you want to get in touch with one of the stalwarts of WA concrete and recycled concrete road base supply, you can do that by contacting us here, or by phoning  (08) 0405 3877.