Roman concrete was durable and self-repairing, and quite a bit of it is still around, whereas modern concrete’s lifespan can be measured in decades. The assumption had been that this because of a key ingredient: pozzolanic ash. But a study published yesterday in Science Advances suggests that the Roman process hot mixed quicklime, leaving lime clasts in the matrix that, by dissolving when exposed to water and then re-forming, could fill cracks in the concrete. More at MIT News.
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