15 Amazing Facts about Concrete

Traditionally, Concrete has been primarily composed of cement, water and aggregates (both fine and coarse).
Now, Concrete is truly an engineered material, with a number of ingredients, which include a host of materials and chemical admixtures. These ingredients of concrete should be precisely determined, properly mixed, carefully placed and properly cured so that desired properties are obtained.

Fact #1.
The word 'concrete' comes from the latin world concretus (meaning compact or condensed), passive participle of concrescere , from  the con (together) and crescere (to grow). This name was chosen perhaps due to the fact that the material grows together, due to the process of hydration, from a visco-elastic, moldable liquid into a hard and solid rock like substance.

Fact #2.
Some people often call concrete ''cement''.  This is like calling a cake ''flour". Cement is to Concrete what Flour is to Cake.  The cement is the vital ingredient and only a part of the whole composition of concrete.

Fact #3.
Concrete is the most widely used material on earth apart from water.

Fact #4.
Concrete may continue to gain its strength for decades although, in around 4 weeks, it typically gets 90% of the final strength.

Fact #5.
Sugar, sucrose, sodium gluconate, glucose, citric acid, and tartaric acid are  mixed with concrete as retarders to slow the hydration process  (setting time) of concrete.

Fact #6.
Huge concrete dishes are known as 'Concrete ears' or 'Acoustic mirrors' were built during the World War II to detect approaching aircraft. Microphones were suspended at the focal points of these dishes, like today's D2H dish antennas.

Fact #7.
The Romans first invented what is today known as hydraulic cement based concrete or simply concrete.

Fact #8.

The Roman built 43.3-meter diameter concrete dome, the Pantheon, in Rome, which is now over 2000 years old but  is still in use and remains the world's largest non-reinforced concrete dome.

Fact #9.
Concrete is not a homogeneous material, and its strength and other properties may vary greatly depending upon its ingredients and method of manufacture. However, It is generally treated in design as a homogeneous material.

Fact #10.
Some Bacterias such as Bacillus sp. CT-5, Sporosarcina pasteurii, Bacillus pasteurii and B. sphaericuscan help concrete to gain strengthen and ensure longevity. 

Fact #11.
Previous Concrete, as the name suggests is a porous concrete. It contains interconnected air voids totaling approximately 15 to 25 percent. Water runs through the voids to the soil underneath.

Fact #12.
 The amount of concrete used in the construction of the Three Gorges Dam is estimated at 16 million cubic meters over 17 years. It is the world record for the largest concrete pour in a single project.

Fact #13.
China is the largest consumer of concrete.

Fact #14.
A major component of concrete is cement, which exerts environmental and social effects. The cement industry is one of the three primary producers (the other two being the energy production and transportation industries) of carbon dioxide.

Fact #15
As of 2006, about 7.5 billion cubic meters of concrete were produced each year. This equals to one cubic meter per year for every person on the earth.