brown concrete palace under blue sky and white clouds 
Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

Its probably not a mistake

A concrete example

Michelle Starr, in her Science Alert article, talks about lumps of lime in Roman concrete. For centuries this was dismissed as “sloppy mixing.” And as you might imagine, that isn’t quite the story, or I wouldn’t be writing this article.

MIT civil engineer Linda Seymour and her team determined that these lumps made the concrete “self-healing.” They have reverse-engineered the process for creating those lumps and have documented the mechanism. A mere couple of millennia after the original methods were forgotten, we are on our way to having commercially viable self-healing concrete.

Beyond just giving us the possibility of making structures with little incremental cost that will last millennia rather than decades, there are promising applications to 3-d printing.

Presumably, the latter of these was unanticipated by the ancient Romans.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals

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