Scientists may have just made a gigantic discovery about ancient Rome that could totally change how we build buildings in the future.
Researchers have just stumbled upon an incredible discovery with regards to ancient Rome that could lead to technological breakthroughs in the modern day. They’ve examined the chemistry of Roman concrete and found that builders used a very unique method to strengthen them that could be applied to modern construction to make them more environmentally friendly.
Basically, the Romans used a concrete made from lime and volcanic ash to build sea walls, and the volcanic material reacted with the sea water in a way that actually strengthened the construction. By using this technique, we could potentially create more environmentally friendly building materials.
Scientists had long been baffled at how Roman concrete seemed to last for ages when modern concrete simply eroded in the presence of sea water. But that all changed when they discovered a rare mineral called aluminium tobermorite within the materials.
“Romans made concrete by mixing volcanic ash with lime and seawater to make a mortar, and then incorporating into that mortar chunks of volcanic rock, the “aggregate” in the concrete,” the University of Utah statement reads. “The combination of ash, water, and quicklime produces what is called a pozzolanic reaction, named after the city of Pozzuoli in the Bay of Naples. The Romans may have gotten the idea for this mixture from naturally cemented volcanic ash deposits called tuff that are common in the area, as Pliny described.”