Fun Facts About Concrete

Concrete is one of the most used materials when it comes to building and construction, but do you know much about it? Even though it is so commonly used, there aren’t many people who have a vast knowledge of it. While it might not seem like concrete is a very exciting topic, there are actually many interesting facts you can learn about it. 

Concrete vs. cement

Many people think that concrete and cement are the same thing, but in reality, it is not. A great analogy to compare this to is flour and cake. One is needed to create the other, but they are not the same. About 10 - 15 percent of concrete is made up of cement. 60 - 65 percent is made up of an aggregate like gravel or sand and the other 15 - 20 percent is water. 

The concrete also continues to harden as it is set. After four weeks it is at about 90 percent of its final strength. The conversion of calcium hydroxide to calcium carbonate, along with certain bacterias is what helps concrete strengthen over time. 

It was created by the Romans

Concrete was originally created by the Romans by mixing lime and volcanic ash. It was created that way until 1824 when modern cement was invented. It was highly used in Ancient Rome, but it was soon forgotten about during the Dark Ages. Once the Middle Ages passed, it had begun to be used again. It then began being used almost exclusively as the material for buildings and construction projects. So much so that the Empire State Building was created and built using 62,000 cubic yards of concrete. 

Enemy detection

Before World War II when the radar was invented, many different armies needed a way to detect if an enemy was close or coming near. The way that they solved this issue was by using concrete. The British developed something that they called parabolic acoustic mirrors, which were commonly called “listening ears.” This was a large assembly of concrete structures that reflected and concentrated sound waves, mostly those of enemy aircrafts. 

Underwater construction

There are many times when structures need to be reinforced underwater to ensure their safety. This can include bridges, dams, piers, tunnels and sewers. In order to be sure that they are durable and will last, there are different types of concrete mixtures that can be created. Pozzolanic cement is perfectly suited for underwater construction and is the only material used to reinforce underwater concrete structures. 

Many companies, architects and interior designers have begun using concrete in their builds as design pieces and everyday elements. This means that they make intricate art pieces, use it as countertops or as polished concrete floors. Polished concrete is a material many are drawn to mostly because of how incredibly durable it is, especially in areas of heavy wear and tear. 

This is what makes it such a great option for flooring, but if you are worried about having a boring space due to the color you have lots of options! Without having to sacrifice appearance, you can get an incredibly durable flooring option for your space. You can choose from stained concrete or woodcrete in order to maintain your aesthetics. If you need help deciding on your polished concrete options, give us a call today and we can help you out!