22 Oct 2019

5 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Concrete

 

Have you ever stopped and thought about how essential concrete is in our everyday lives? Nope? We are not surprised, it is so commonplace in the modern world that most of us never think twice about it. 

 

It is only once you try to imagine life without concrete, that you are reminded of how fundamental the material is. It is used in floors, walls, buildings, roads, driveways, car parks … the list could go on. Unless you live an extremely remote life, you will come across multiple concrete structures every single day. 

 

If you want to impress your friends with some fascinating facts about concrete (who wouldn’t?), keep reading as Colson Transport have put together just the list for you! 

 

5 Fascinating Facts About Concrete 

 

Fun Fact 1 – Concrete helped the British Army to detect enemy aircraft.

 

Giant ‘concrete ears’, or parabolic acoustic mirrors, were built in Britain during the blitz in WWII to detect enemy aircraft flying overhead. The peculiar looking objects could reflect sound waves picked up from long distances.

 

However, soon after they were built, radar detection technology made them obsolete, as this was a much more accurate way of detecting planes. Many of these unused structures still stand to this day, visible along the coast of southern England. 

 

Fun Fact 2 – Concrete was first used in Ancient Rome, making it over two thousand years old.

 

So many elements of our society today owe influence to Ancient Rome and concrete is no exception to this. Lime, water and volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius were combined to create a very simple, but extremely effective, form of concrete. They referred to it as pozzolana. 

 

Thanks to its waterproof qualities, three Ancient Roman piers crafted with concrete still survive to this day at the port in Cosa.

 

Fun Fact 3 – Concrete can set underwater. 

 

When you think of concrete you often associate it with structures built on land, but with the right mix of ingredients, it can set underwater as well. Concrete has been used to construct robust bridges for as long as it has been around.

 

Fun Fact 4 – Concrete can be made with ingredients from the moon (almost). 

 

If you lived on the moon, the only ingredient missing to make concrete would be water. Heating moon rocks at a high temperature would produce alumina cement, while lunar rocks could be crushed to create a coarse aggregate. For a finer aggregate, you could sieve lunar soil which would be available in abundance. 

 

Fun Fact 5 – Concrete can float. 

 

Have you ever heard of a concrete canoe? That is 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, yet steel is 3 times more dense than concrete and that is a common ship building material. Perhaps it is because we are so used to seeing concrete as a strong building material on land. 

 

As a bonus fact for you, in WWI and WWII, concrete warships were made in Britain due to the shortage of steel. 

 

Colson Transport

 

Colson Transport are the number one ready mix concrete supplier across the Nottingham, Derby & Leicester. Our state of the art volumetric concrete mixers deliver ready mix concrete and mix it fresh on site for it to be lay down immediately. Crucially with our service, you only pay for what you lay, so not only do you get fresh high quality concrete, but you avoid wasting money and resources as well. 

Visit our website now to request a quote call us 01773765720 or email info@colsontransport.co.uk.