If you’ve ever wondered how concrete was developed, we’d like to shed a little light on the subject for you.

Concrete is such a ubiquitous substance, it’s hard to imagine a world without it. Have you ever wondered how concrete came to be? After all, it’s not exactly a natural building material. At Tolley Concrete, we are so invested in what we do we’ve made it a point to learn the history of how concrete came to be.

Who Invented Concrete?

While it might not be possible to pinpoint exactly who did what when it comes to the development of cement and concrete, we have plenty of evidence that it has been around, in some form, for a very long time. Ancient cultures created a crude cement by crushing and burning gypsum and limestone. This was mixed with sand and water to create a mortar that was used to bind stones together in various structures. 

Around 1300 BC, builders in the Middle East discovered that they could coat the outer walls of their clay walls with a thin, damp layer of burned limestone that would react chemically with atmospheric gases to produce a hard surface. This was the forerunner to cement as we now know it. For a long time, this cement was primarily used to adhere stones together to create edifices. 

Cement is not concrete, though. Concrete is a composite material and cement is just one of its ingredients. The composition of the concrete varies depending upon the needs of the builder and the environmental stresses that the structure will need to withstand. Over the centuries, builders in different areas utilized the natural materials that they had access to in order to create suitable cements. Ancient Romans used local deposits of fine silica sand, while the Chinese were using a mortar made primarily of glutenous, sticky rice. 

Modern Concrete Work

These days, concrete is made using Portland cement, aggregates of coarse and fine stone and sand, and water. Various admixtures, or chemicals, are added to the mix to make it suitable for a particular job. At Tolley Concrete, we know all the ins and outs of concrete preparation to make sure you get the perfect product for your project.