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The History of Cement and Concrete

Concrete and cement have been around in some form for millennia. In ancient times, amalgams of limestone and gypsum were crushed and mixed with water to create mortar for holding other stones together. These crude cements were perfected over time and combined with gravel and other substances to create the building materials used by your Houston concrete contractor today.

The First Concrete Formulations

While early uses of concrete date as far back as 3,000 B.C. by the ascendant civilizations of that time period, concrete came into common use in the Roman Empire sometime around 300 B.C. By combining lime mortar, sand, gravel and ash from nearby volcanoes, the Romans were able to create a hard and durable surface for roads and buildings. Subsequent additions of animal products led to the production of pozzolan cement, which was instrumental in the construction of the Pantheon, the Coliseum and even the Appian Way.

The Renaissance of Concrete

After the fall of the Roman Empire, concrete and cement fell out of favor as stone rose in popularity across Europe. It was not until the late 1700s that this trend reversed. John Smeaton, an English civil engineer, discovered a variety of limestone with a high clay content that hardened when exposed to water. This hydraulic lime was the basis for a new type of cement that could be combined with gravel to produce strong, durable concrete. Smeaton’s discoveries were soon being put to use across Europe to build bridges, lighthouses and many other structures.

The Creation of Portland Cement

The concrete and cement products made possible by the discovery of hydraulic lime offered superior durability to any other products available before that time. In 1824, bricklayer Joseph Aspdin discovered the enhanced strength and durability of cements that combined ground chalk and clay by burning them together. This mixture was known as Portland cement and is the basis for many concrete formulations to the present day.

Concrete Today

Thanks to the development of precision measurement techniques and advanced additives, numerous concrete formulations are available to suit your Houston concrete supply needs. Concrete materials provide outstanding support for bridges, high-rise buildings and dams. These versatile and cost-effective materials offer significant advantages for all types of architectural installations and can even be used to finish interior spaces in an elegant and durable way.

The Houston ready mix concrete experts at Texas Concrete Enterprise Ready Mix, Inc. can provide you with the right solutions for all your construction needs. We work with you to determine the perfect formulation and the best approach to your building project. Call us today at 713-227-1122 to schedule a quote. We look forward to providing for all of your concrete requirements.

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