Concrete Pumping in Sydney | The Ancient Recipe

June 22nd, 2018 / also / ALSO Pumping

The world of concrete pumping in Sydney seems like such a ubiquitous aspect of the modern world, that it becomes difficult to imagine our cities without it. This substance an absolute pivotal element of our ability to build in bulk, and in its absence, it is likely that our towns, homes, office buildings, and urban areas overall would look very different.

With the commonality of concrete so evident, it is surprising to realise that the recipe for concrete has changed greatly over time – and sometimes, not for the better. The Roman empire forged great cities out of concrete, but the specifics behind their recipe have been lost to the middle ages.

This is unfortunate, because Roman-era concrete is among the hardest-wearing and toughest concrete to be found anywhere. There are thousands of examples of Roman concrete that are still in use today, two millennia later – even examples that are exposed to the waves of the Mediterranean. As a result, researchers have begun to study their makeup, in an attempt to reverse-engineer it.

They have discovered that the recipe used by the Romans incorporated some different elements from that used today, which helps to explain its hard-wearing nature. Rather than the inert substances used in today’s concrete, Roman concrete utilised silica made with volcanic rocks. These substances are not only highly resistant to water, they actually strengthen over the course of time, owing to a substance called aluminous tobermorite – which is actually created within the ancient concrete, as a result of its interaction with water and air.

Reverse-engineering this recipe could potentially lead to some real breakthroughs in concrete pumping in Sydney, and the research continues. Soon, a new breed of concrete might we be revolutionising our urban lives.