5 interesting facts about concrete you’ve never heard of!
Have you ever thought about how significant concrete is in our everyday lives? Nope? We are not surprised though; it’s so commonplace in the modern world that most of us never think twice about it.
It’s only when we try to imagine life without it, that we’re reminded of how indispensable it is. Concrete is used in floors, walls, buildings, roads, driveways, car parks … the list could go on. Unless you live an extremely remote life, you’re bound to come across several concrete structures every single day.
1. Concrete is used underwater
When you think of concrete you often associate it with structures built on land, but with the right mix of ingredients, concrete does amazing things- such as not deteriorating underwater.
As a result, it has been used to construct sturdy bridges, piers, tunnels, sewer works, etc for as long as it has been around.
2. Concrete is used indoors
You probably think of buildings, roads, and dams when concrete is mentioned. However, concrete can also be used for interior remodelling. We’re talking about sinks, walls, fireplaces, countertops, and more to create a modern, sleek look. You can also customize the surfaces of these products using design elements like acid stains, dyes and stamping for a more visually appealing finish compared to the original functional appearance of concrete.
The cool thing about concrete is, it can be moulded and shaped into anything you want. Because of its versatility, it has such a great impact on the overall design of any home.
3. The most used material in the world
It may not come as a surprise to discover that concrete is incredibly widely used; it is, in fact, the most used construction material in the world – perhaps because the aggregates and water used to create concrete are available virtually everywhere.
However, it might be more surprising to learn that 20 billion tons are used every year, with China being the largest consumer of concrete in the world, responsible for half of the world’s concrete annually!
4. Concrete has come a long way!
Ancient Romans were among the first groups of people to use concrete in the majority of their construction. Concrete was originally made by mixing lime and volcanic ash. This is completely different from the concrete mixtures we make in recent times which is usually made from water, cement and aggregate (e.g. gravel or sand). Concrete has definitely come a long way!
5. Concrete can float!
Ever heard of a concrete canoe? Yeah, me neither. But that’s exactly what engineering students across the world are challenged to design every year!
It may come as a surprise to you that concrete can float, don’t worry, we understand. Afterall, steel is 3 times denser than concrete but that’s a common ship building material. It’s probably because we are so used to seeing concrete as a strong building material on land, we think it has a higher density.
As a bonus fact for you, in WWI and WWII, concrete warships were made in Britain due to the shortage of steel. Crazy, isn’t it?
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