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Chemists Crack Code to Long-Lasting Roman Concrete


Chemists have apparently finally found success in their mission to re-create an ancient Roman technique for making concrete, a mix of cement, gravel, sand and water, as MIT chemist Admir Masic and his colleagues have achieved their goal.

Researchers have been trying for decades to re-create the Roman recipe for concrete longevity, but had minimal to no success, and the idea of hot mixing was, at best, considered to be an educated guess. Figuring the mystery out could help everyone around the planet as The Pantheon and it’s dome have stood for close to 2,000 years.

“In every sample we have seen of ancient Roman concrete, you can find these white inclusions,” bits of rock embedded in the walls Masic said, according to ScienceNews. “The results were stunning.”

According to the team’s report in Science advances back on January 6th, the blocks incorporating hot mixed cement healed within two to three weeks, and the concrete produced without hot mixed cement never healed at all.

Masic and several of his colleagues have  since created a startup called DMAT that is currently seeking seed money to begin to commercially produce the Roman-inspired hot-mixed concrete. “It’s very appealing simply because it’s a thousands-of-years-old material.”

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