Microstructure of Two-Thousand-Year Old Lightweight Concrete


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Title: Microstructure of Two-Thousand-Year Old Lightweight Concrete

Author(s): R. Rivera-Villarreal and J. G. Cabrera

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 186


Appears on pages(s): 183-200

Keywords: concretes; pozzolans; pumice aggregate; volcanic ash

Date: 5/1/1999

This study is a continuation of a series dealing with the composition and properties of lightweight concrete developed 2000 years ago by the builders of an ancient culture, the Totonacas. The concrete was found in the main city of the Totonacas, "El Tajin", near the modern city of Veracruz in Mexico. The lightweight concrete was used to construct flat slabs in the pyramidal buildings which were found by accident by Mexican researchers. The paper presents a review of the developments leading to modern cements made by the Greek and Roman civilizations and compares these developments with the developments made independently in Mesoamerica. The properties of the concrete studied are: the mature of the interfacial zone, the microstructure and composition of the mortar phase and the aggregates used. Microstructure is characterized by the properties of a concrete of approximately the same age which was found in Camiros Greece.