Cement – the main ingredient in concrete – has made the world’s civilization possible. From the ancient Roman Pantheon, to modern city sky-scrapers, to ribbons of highway connecting America from coast-to-coast, cement has literally helped make our world strong and economies thrive.
Concrete is a mixture of two components: aggregate and paste. The paste is made up of Portland cement and water, which then binds the aggregate, often made up of things like sand, gravel or crushed stone. Portland cement is a general term for almost all modern cement – owing its name and origin to a British stone mason who patented the process for making modern cement from stone quarried on the Isle of Portland.
Concrete surrounds us, yet is often overlooked. Concrete is more than rock and sand. It makes our homes and offices durable and more resilient in natural disasters, it makes our roads and bridges strong and last longer, and thanks to its permanence and energy efficiency, it helps sustain our environment.