Do You Know What The Most Used Artificial Material In The World Is?

Do You Know What The Most Used Artificial Material In The World Is?

What is Concrete?

From Gizmodo

After Water, It’s the most widely used material on our planet.  Ton for ton, says this article from Gizmodo, concrete is used by humans more than steel, wood, plastics, and aluminum combined.  The supply and use of concrete is a $100,000,000,000 industry.  What is amazing is that most people don’t really understand what concrete really is.  This post explains the volcanic origins of concrete, how it was prevalent in the ancient world and then forgotten, and how it’s rediscovery and evolution is doing more to shape our physical world than any other material on Earth.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

The most popular artificial material on Earth isn’t steel, plastic, or aluminum — it’s concrete. Thousands of years ago, we used it to build civilizations, but then our knowledge of how to make it was lost. Here’s how we discovered concrete, forgot it, and then finally cracked the mystery of what makes it so strong.

When we think concrete, we usually picture white pavements, swimming pools, and building foundations. Most of us aren’t aware of concrete’s fiery volcanic origin story, or that concrete is a $100 billion dollar industry. In fact, it’s the most widely-used material on our planet after water. Ton for ton, humans use more concrete today than steel, wood, plastics, and aluminum combined.

Liquid Stone

Unlike aluminum, steel or plastic, the word ‘concrete’ doesn’t refer to a single material. It can be any number of substances that combine rocks or gravel with some kind of adhesive material.

Basically, concrete is just a bunch of rubble mixed with water and cement. Together, these ingredients form rocky jello that can be poured into a mold and shaped into whatever the heck you like. Liquid stone, it’s sometimes called. We take it for granted today, but in ancient times, when people were literally hand-carving buildings out of giant slabs of rock, you can bet your bricks a material like concrete would’ve seemed downright magical.

There’s evidence that humans have been tinkering with concrete for thousands of years. But it was the Romans who really mastered the craft, and they probably learned about it from volcanoes.

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