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Concrete Facts

While it looks dull and heavy to the eye, concrete is nothing but versatile and agile in many ways. Discover more about this fascinating grey matter, used more than any other man-made material on the planet.

Concrete is Cake

Flour is to cake as what cement is to concrete. So cement is an ingredient of concrete. Hence a concrete mixer truck churns a mix of cement, sand, aggregates and water on the road to the building site.

Concrete is a Relic

An early version of concrete appeared in the Pyramids of Egypt five thousand years ago. But it was the Romans who used concrete extensively as a building material two thousand years later – they mixed lime, water and volcanic rock and ash from Mount Vesuvius in Italy.

Concrete Recipes

Two thousand years ago, the practical Romans had already concocted specialised concrete using stuff around them. Horse hair lessened cracks in setting concrete. Volcanic ash and lime mixed with sea water made concrete stronger over time. Blood made concrete frost-resistant.

Concrete is a Multi-hyphenate

Is concrete dull? Not if you ask the scientists at Pan-United. Over the years, they have successfully innovated concrete to be translucent, ultra-strong, self-compacting, eco-friendly, flexible and multi-coloured too. The product list goes on.

Concrete is the Future

Concrete research can be intriguing. Think concrete fabric. Or concrete that ‘self-heals’, employing ‘good’ bacteria to fill in cracks as they form. Think ‘3D-printing’ a concrete house in a day – come snow or shine – and even on Mars before the astronauts arrive. Now that’s good news for planetary travel.

Concrete Wonders

The largest reinforced concrete structure, at 181m high and 2,335m long, is the Three Gorges Dam in Hubei, China. It holds the world record for the largest concrete pour over 17 years. The Pantheon in Rome is the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Concrete Sparks Invention

The great Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents of which 49 were patents for concrete. The inventor of the electric light bulb in 1879 was most passionate about concrete and experimented with precast concrete houses filled with concrete furniture, pianos and refrigerators.

Concrete is Art

Well-loved as the most used man-made material, concrete has also inspired artists, architects, interior artisans and product designers. From architect-artists Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier to artist Adrián Villar Rojas – the ageless sophistication and beauty of concrete has been immortalised.

Concrete is Mother Nature's Bff

Concrete is energy efficient. The world has less dumping sites because lots of waste materials are recycled to produce concrete. Coal is supplemented with PET plastic bottles and used rubber tyres in the cement production process. High quality cement substitutes include copper and steel waste materials called slag.

Concrete Has Longevity

Concrete gets stronger with age. Over decades, calcium hydroxide in the concrete converts into calcium carbonate from carbon dioxide to make it more durable and resistant to fire, water and pressure. In fact, concrete structures are designed to last more than a century.

Concrete Protects People

Hospitals are built with ultra-high performance concrete walls to shield against harmful radiation from X-rays. The toughest forms of such concrete are designed to even withstand nuclear blasts.

Concrete Shapes Life

Think about it – concrete connects the past to the future. It is everywhere, showing quiet strength and support. Without concrete, we will not thrive on safe roads, in comfortable homes and at high-rise workplaces.