The History of Cement

"The word ""cement"" as it is used today derives from the word  “caementum”, which means “carved stone” in Latin. Although materials such as lime and plaster were used as binding materials since the discovery of fire, the first reinforced concrete structure was not built until 1852. The ancient Greeks and Romans had noticed the hydraulic properties of lime and pozzolana mixtures.

Developments in the quality and use of binding materials were realized in the 18th century. John Smeaton, who had undertaken the construction of the Eddystone Lighthouse building in England in 1750, is known as the first person ever to understand the chemical properties of lime. The latter development was the discovery of the binder, which is known as the ""Roman Cement"", by Joseph Parker. In 1812, argillaceous limestones was baked until 1200°C by Louis Vicat in France resulting in a higher-strength hydraulic lime, which allowed the adjustment of setting times with the addition of various mineral additives. In 1824, a bricklayer named Joseph Aspdin in Leeds, England produced the first cement of high strength and durability, by baking one portion of natural clay with 3 portions of limestone mixture followed by grinding the resultant product. Joseph Aspdin received a patent for this binding material under the name of ""Portland cement"" in 21.10.1824, as the green gray color of this product resembled the building blocks found on the island of Portland in south England. In the following years, many scientists, including Thomas Edison, had carried out studies on cement.

Nowadays, most cement factories employ energy efficient and environmentally conscious advanced technologies. The quality, strength and durability of the cements produced today are very high compared to the very first cements."