A Conversation for The Story of Cement
Obeewan Kermode(e) Started conversation Oct 1, 2001
One fascinating feature of concrete (not the sort of thing I find myself typing much I am pleased to say!) is that it has the same thermal co-efficient as steel.
So what? Well the only reason reinforced concrete works is that the whole thing expands and contracts at the same rate. If it didn't then the component would burst or crumble in the heat/cold. The Romans, or Greeks or someone, tried reinforced concrete using brass, but that just burst apart with thermal stress.
So how much of a coincidence is that? Isn't it lucky that it wasn't conrete and gold, or steel and sheep dung? (Come to think of it I am not sure what the thermal coefficient of expansion of sheep dung is)
Anyway. Really good article
PS The 'Smeaton's tower' is the centre piece of the crest of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and most of the tower is now located on the shore at Plymouth, Devon.
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