Concrete is the most vital material in the construction of buildings. There is no need for any sort of familiarization for us. It is right around us, buildings, roads, bridges, etc, all these structures are made with concrete. It is impossible to imagine a structure without concrete. The use of concrete has a long way back since ancient times. The arrival of concrete drastically changed the course of architecture in the world.
Some people may confuse cement with concrete, well they are not the same thing. Cement is an important component used for preparing concrete. The composition of a concrete mixture contains around 60 – 65% aggregates like sand, gravel, and crushed stone, 15 – 20% water, and around 10 – 15% cement. When all the components are mixed, the cement and water harden and bind the aggregates into a solid mass which we call as concrete.
So what is concrete?
It’s a composite mixture of multiple components that includes cement, water, sand and aggregates which are crushed stones, gravel etc. What makes concrete this much popular and vital in the construction field is its compressive strength and durability to withstand loads of the structure. Even though concrete is strong and durable, it lacks the tensile strength for handling the tensile load of the structure. This is why steel bars are used along with concrete because steel bars have excellent tensile strength which helps in maintaining the tensile forces of the structure.
Interesting facts about concrete
There are different facts about concrete which most of us have heard and know about such as why is it used, where it is heard, what are the variations of the components used etc but there are also some facts about concrete that are actually quite interesting and wonder to hear, so without wasting time, let’s get on with the facts which are as follows:
Detecting enemy aircraft: Alright, this is something interesting i.e During World War II, when radar systems were not yet developed, concrete was used by the British army for detecting enemy aircraft.
How it was made possible?
The British built parabolic acoustic mirrors for detecting incoming aircraft. A network of these enormous sound reflectors was made of concrete. It was constructed along England’s coast. Some of those structures are even visible today.
The Heaviest Concrete structure: Want to know the heaviest structure in the world built using concrete, well it is in China called the Three Gorges Dam located on the Yangtze River. About 65457623 tonnes of concrete was used to construct this humongous structure. Wow, now that’s a whopping quantity of concrete, isn’t it?
The Best material for constructing roads: One interesting fact is that almost 30% of the interstate highways in the United States are built using concrete. The main advantage of using concrete is that concrete road lasts longer and require less maintenance. Even though the initial cost to build may be slightly higher than asphalt, in the long run, concrete roads are cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.