Roman Concrete: The Strongest Concrete on Earth

April 20, 2021

Planning to build a home from concrete? If so, you’ve made a smart decision, since this material is versatile, attractive and, most importantly, strong. Before you break ground on your home building project in Racine, WI, get to know the importance of concrete strength and which material is best for your needs. Here’s what you should know about Roman concrete, the strongest concrete on Earth.

What is Roman concrete?

Roman concrete, or opus caementicium, was developed over 2,000 years ago. It was used in a variety of structures, many of which still survive today.

It’s such a strong material that many buildings made with it have stood the test of time. These famous structures were built using Roman concrete, and stand today not only as a symbol of engineering brilliance, but also as a testament to the durability of this material:

  • The Pantheon: This unreinforced concrete structure in Rome has stood as a monument to architecture and engineering for nearly 2,000 years.
  • Hoover Dam: One of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th century, five million barrels of cement were used to create this iconic dam.
  • Burj Khalifa: The tallest manmade structure in the world holds the record for the highest vertical concrete pumping for a building, at 2,000 feet.

If Roman concrete can hold up well in unique engineering applications like these, you can safely assume that concrete is a great material for your home construction project in Racine, WI. Typical Portland cement is also a great option, since it has even more compressive strength.

Why is Roman concrete so strong?

The secret to why this is the strongest concrete on Earth comes from its unique mineral formulation and production technique. In ancient times, the Romans made this material by mixing lime and volcanic rock. As with today’s concrete, there is an aggregate and a hydraulic mortar binder that, when mixed with water, continues to harden over time.

Ancient Romans had a special technique for mixing the concrete that increased its durability. They mixed the lime and volcanic ash to form mortar, then poured the mixture into the sea. When the mortar mixture met the seawater, it instantly triggered a hot chemical reaction. They used this technique for coastal structures.

When using the material above ground, the Romans saw that the combination of volcanic ash and lime prevented buildings from cracking and spreading. It also gave buildings the perfect amount of seismic flex, which helped the buildings withstand even the strongest earthquakes. The process remains much the same today and will enhance the concrete strength of your home building project.

If you want your new home in Racine, WI to be built to last, be sure to choose the strongest concrete on Earth. While it has the potential to stand up to the elements, even in extreme weather situations, concrete is only as good as the team that installs it. Contact the experts at Langenfeld Masonry & Concrete today to learn more about building a home from scratch with long-lasting concrete.

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