Concrete mixes have been used as far back as the Roman Empire. But time has led to a deeper understanding of concrete and improved how it is produced.
Modern concrete: a proven technology
Concrete is the most used manmade material in the world, with nearly three tons used annually for each man, woman and child. Concrete has been around for centuries and is an integral part of every civilization. The ancient Romans first used primitive mixes of sand, gravel, lime and gypsum to create enduring concrete structures, such as the Pantheon, that are still standing today.
Concrete technology in the modern age has dramatically improved. Lafarge manufactures concrete in state-of-the-art plants that utilize sophisticated computers to accurately batch the correct proportions of ingredients to create a consistent, high-quality product.
Modern concrete relies on Portland Cement as its binder. Portland cement was invented in Leeds, England, by Joseph Aspdin in the 19th century. Aspdin named it portland cement because of its resemblance to a stone harvested in the nearby Isle of Portland. Cement manufacturing has evolved into a complex and scientific endeavor that utilizes large, high-tech plants to carefully produce different grades of cement used in specific applications.
In addition to cement, concrete requires different types of aggregates. Concrete generally uses a coarse aggregate (some kind of local stone) and a fine aggregate (sand). Aggregates are extracted and sized in quarries preferably close to the concrete plant. This practice leads to regional variation in the type and physical makeup of the stones and sand. Because of this, Lafarge employs trained professionals who examine each aggregate source and test its composition to carefully create its concrete mixes.
Lafarge has embraced technology and continues to invest in research and the development of cutting-edge concrete innovation. As a result of this commitment, Lafarge has launched new types of concrete that continue to redefine what this material can accomplish. See the link below to explore what Lafarge is doing to create the best building materials on Earth.