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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Academics of Super Concrete

Parthenon, photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons/simon_music

U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is conducting studies related to a Geopolymeric based super concrete that will create impervious bunkers and “bomb bouncing structures” by using geopolymers as a bonding agent.

Geopolymers are synthetic aluminosilicate materials. In layman's terms: super cements capable of far exceeding the strength of modern concrete.

There are all kind of theories floating around, in Europe particularly, speculating that the ancients used similar chemical formulations for their concrete. Some theories go as far as reinventing the pyramids by concluding that the huge blocks used are, in fact. cast-in-place superconcrete blocks and not natural stone.

What is really amazing -- and indeed inexplicable -- is that the Panthenon in Rome, the largest unreinforced concrete dome, stands after 2000 years, as strong as ever. Go and figure that out since we all know that concrete is not an impervious material and water combined with alkaline and acid elements is the number one concrete enemy.

Since we are just construction guys, the Construction Advisory Group will refrain from any related academic polemics.

The concrete we know today was developed in England in the mid-1800s when Portland Cement was produced for the first time.

We hope that once the study is over, at least the economical parameters of this study will be released by the Air Force.

It would certainly verify the applicability of super concretes for civil purposes.

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