Concrete is a renowned material for flooring and building structures favored for its durability, affordability, and long-lasting physical properties. It used to be crude but modern techniques and technology has made concrete as luxurious looking as top-tier materials such as marble and stone. The professionals at Artistic Concrete Designs, for example, offer a range of sealants and coating that increase concrete’s aesthetics and sturdiness. In today’s article, we will go over how concrete was invented and the history of concrete. If you have any questions or would like to concrete installation or upgrade your concrete flooring, then call Artistic Concrete Designs to schedule an appointment with a professional.
Way Back When
Concrete is as old as civilization itself depending on how you interpret the term “concrete.” According to Giatec Scientific, the earliest record of concrete dates back to 6500 BC, 8500 years ago, in present day regions of Syria and Jordan. The Nabataea traders created concrete floors, housing structures, and underground cisterns. The Nabataea understood that the concrete mix should be as low-slump as possible. To this end, they included a good deal of tamping the freshly installed concrete in their building process. They also utilized their natural supplies of fine silica sand to make their cement waterproof.
Egypt, 3000 BC
We often think of the great pyramids in Egypt and wonder how those large stones could be carried to build the pyramids. However, we seldom think about how they must have created all of those massive bricks in the first place. Ancient Egyptians used mud mixed with straw as well as gypsum and lime mortars in building the pyramids. In fact, estimates show that the Great Pyramid of Giza required over 500,000 tons of mortar.
Around the same time, another wonder of the world was being built: The Great Wall of China. Surprisingly, spectrometer testing showed that one of the key ingredients in the mortar used to build this phenomenal wall was… sticky rice.
Romans, 200 BC
By 200 BC, the Romans had started building with a type of concrete that is different than today’s. The Romans stacked stones of different sizes and filled the spaces between the stones with mortar. The mortar was a simple lime cement that reacted with carbon dioxide to harden slowly. However, these mortars were weak. For more durability, the Romans started using volcanic sand that provided a truly binding agent. These were the materials they used to build phenomenal structures such as the Roman Baths, the Pantheon, and the Colosseum.
In the 18th century, a modern method for producing lime for cement involved clay that was fired until it turned into clinker. This was ground into powder and used for cement. Now, quality cement such as Portland cement is manufactured by heating a mixture of limestone and clay to temperatures above 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture forms a clinker which is ground into powder and gypsum is added to keep the concrete workable longer.
Professional Concrete Installations
Now, professionals such as Artistic Concrete Designs use this cement to create durable flooring, driveways, patios, and more. We also add sealants and coatings to provide an extra layer of protection and design. Call Artistic Concrete Designs if you are ready to see where concrete has come in the 21st century.