Concrete has been around for thousands of years, and it’s been used to build some of the most durable and iconic structures ever known to man. But did you know that the concrete used by the Romans in the ancient days was far more tough and durable than the concrete that we use today? After all, there’s a reason why the old Roman structures are still standing over two thousand years later.
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It’s actually the Romans who are credited with first discovering concrete. Roman concrete is essentially a mixture of volcanic ash and rock with limestone, such as the kind found in ordinary seashells. This concrete was not only used to construct some of Rome’s most famous buildings, but it was also used to create structures along the shoreline and in harbors where it has resisted the nonstop assault of saltwater waves for thousands of years.
Let’s put it this way: Roman concrete is the most durable kind of concrete, and what’s better, is that you can make it on your own with little more than limestone (or seashells), volcanic ash and rock (such as pumice), and basic tools like a concrete form and tamping tool.
As this video by Corporals Corner explains, here is how to make your own Roman concrete:
- You will need limestone and volcanic ash or volcanic rock.
- If you cannot locate limestone, ordinary seashells serve as a good alternative.
- Heat up your limestone for at least two to four hours.
- Break down the limestone into a powder.
- Add the limestone powder to a bucket, and pour in enough water to create a paste, with roughly the same consistency as playdoh.
- Add in your volcanic ash to the mixture – for every one pound of limestone, you want two pounds of volcanic ash.
- Mix the volcanic ash and the limestone thoroughly together.
- Fill up your concrete form with two layers of the above mixture, and consolidate the layers using your concrete tamping tool.
- Make sure to flatten the mixture out so it fits evenly in your concrete form.
- Allow the sample to cure for about seven days and then remove it from the concrete form.
- Check the samples to make sure they are hardened and ready to go.
- Repeat the above process for as much Roman Concrete as you would like!
If you found these instructions confusing, watch the video by Corporals Corner below where he goes into greater detail.