Researchers have revealed the secret of the solidity of Roman buildings dating back 2,000 years

Researchers have revealed the secret of the solidity of Roman buildings dating back 2,000 years

AFP – How have they withstood the passage of time in this way Roman constructions, like the Pantheon or the aqueducts? It’s a question experts in the field have been asking themselves for a long time.

American and European researchers believe they have finally discovered the secret to the longevity of these architectural marvels lying around 2000 yearsConcrete is capable of repairing itself.

While some modern buildings fall into disrepair after a few decades, scientists hope this discovery will help reduce the impact on the environment and climate of producing concrete, which generates large amounts of greenhouse gases.

An aerial view of Piazza del Pantheon in Rome in 2020

Until now, the hardness of Roman concrete has been attributed to its connection with volcanic ash from the Gulf Naplesin Italy, were sent throughout the empire for the purpose of construction.

But the researchers are now focusing on the presence of another property: small, white, shiny chunks that come from lime, another ingredient used to make concrete.

Professor V. said Massachusetts Institute of Technology Admir Masic, co-author of the study published in the journal Science advances. He asked, “It is not found in modern concrete, so why is it present in ancient?”

Until now, experts believed that these small pieces came from a bad mixture or poor quality raw materials.

However, when using advanced imaging techniques to examine the concrete of a wall in a city private In Italy, they discovered that these little white pieces come from calcium carbonate formed at very high temperatures.

They concluded that the lime was not — or at least not only — incorporated into the water mixture, as had been thought, but in the form of quicklime. Hot mix gives concrete an amazing hardness.

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The researchers concluded that when cracks appear, rainwater in contact with the concrete produces a saturated calcium solution, which then crystallizes back into calcium carbonate, allowing the cracks to be filled.

To verify their hypothesis, scientists conducted experiments with the same procedure on walls that had cracks, with the result that within two weeks, the wall completely repaired itself upon contact with water. With this discovery, the scientists hope to be able to commercialize the new modified concrete recipe.

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