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.

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

      Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

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