Why is Concrete so Strong?
Concrete is so strong because of its tight, chemical bonds. Concrete is a composite material, comprised of cement paste, aggregates and water, and when combined, concrete cures. The main element that causes concrete to be so strong is the tricalcium silicate compound. This distributes calcium ions, hydroxide ions and heat, causing it to accelerate the chemical reaction, crystallise the calcium hydroxide, form calcium silicate hydrate. Once crystallised, calcium silicate hydrate increases and this produces a thick substance which stops only when there are no empty spaces left in the concrete mixture. Due to this chemical reaction, concrete is non-porous which means its structure is incredibly strong.
What is concrete used for?
Used around the world to make strong and long-lasting structures, concrete is used to create skyscrapers, dams, bridges, houses, paving, walls and more.
Can I make concrete even stronger?
To increase concrete strength, simply adjust the ratios of cement, aggregates, water and admixtures. By doing this, you can create an even tighter bond, and the lower the water ratio, the stronger your concrete mix will be. That said, you still require enough water to perform the hydration process, as this is used to saturate and combine the mixture. Cement to water ratio is typically between 0.35 and 0.60.
When was the first use of concrete?
Concrete was used during the early Egyptian times, 3100 BC. Making their concrete material from gypsum, limestone, zeolite-forming materials and water. Egyptian concrete was used in the making of pyramids. To make bricks, they used a combination of mud and straw.
Why is concrete so strong?
As discussed above, concrete has tight chemical bonds which makes it a super-strong material, so much so, it can withstand natural disasters – making it a cost-effective and sustainable construction material. Whatsmore, concrete is typically sourced locally, meaning a lower carbon footprint too.
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