The role of concrete throughout ages
Like most building materials, concrete has come through a long way of development and enhancements. In the excavations on the banks of the Danube archaeologists discovered the remains of habitation 5000 years ago, where the 15” thick floors were a prehistoric pouring concrete: as binder red clay was used, while the reinforcing element was a fine river gravel.
Specific examples of the binding of small stones or solutions with coarse aggregate were known in ancient times to the Egyptians, the Babylonians, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians. The earliest use of concrete in Egypt was found in the tomb of Thebes, and it dates back to 1950 BC. Concrete was used in the construction of the Egyptian galleries of the maze (3600 BC) and the monolithic body of the pyramid Nima long before our era. The Egyptians used gypsum and lime as a binder. A quarter century ago, Swiss chemistry professor Joseph Davidovits made a resonance assumption that artificial production of geopolymer concrete blocks took place in the erection of the pyramid of Cheops. Examining limestone blocks, a professor found a human hair in one of them – it could be there only in one case: it fell off when mixing the working solution. The result of further searches of the scientist was the inscription on the stele period of 3rd dynasty. Decoded characters contained recipes of ancient concrete. An independent study found that the base of the Great Pyramid is built of natural limestone and the top few rows are made of concrete. A concrete mixture comprises a palm ash, sandstone chips and a variety of soda obtained from the Nile water.
Concrete in Asia
In India, in the temples and palaces of the nobility well-preserved concrete printed floors (of IV-V centuries BC) were found. One of the first concrete materials was applied the ancient Chinese people. Great Wall of China, the construction of which began in the 3rd century BC. was partially built of concrete. Preparation of concrete and forming of a wall can be described as one part lime putty thoroughly mixed with two parts of sand and gravel, then such a dry concrete mix with a small amount of water was stacked in layers of a thickness of about 7” between the wooden boards of formwork and compacted hard wood beetles. The next layer of concrete was laid on the damp of surface.
Сoncrete use is widely spread across the world, and it is utilised for the construction of various structures. The material is used in the construction of both residential and industrial buildings as well as in road construction, construction of bridges, tunnels and hydraulic structures. The material itself has numerous modifications, thus the most advanced, like Telling architectural agency based in Wolverhampton, focus on hydraulic lime and lime mortar solutions.
The use of concrete in construction helps architects to express their creative ideas and plans. Also, when using a matrix with different patterns an architect can create a textured surface that does not require additional finishing. As the use of concrete mixtures in construction contributed to the creation and dissemination of various formwork systems.