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How did the Romans form concrete underwater?



Title: How did the Romans form concrete underwater?
Author(s): C.J. Brandon
Paper category : conference
Book title: 2nd Conference on Historic Mortars - HMC 2010 and RILEM TC 203-RHM final workshop
Editor(s): J. Válek, C. Groot and J.J. Hughes
Print-ISBN: None
e-ISBN: 978-2-35158-112-4
Publisher: RILEM Publications SARL
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 73 - 81
Total Pages: 9
Nb references: 36
Language: English


Abstract: The Roman’s ability to cast hydraulic concrete underwater relied on their skill in being able to construct temporary or permanent formwork in the open sea that could withstand the force of currents and survive being buffeted by waves.
The design of the forms frequently followed the description provided by Vitruvius in De Architectura (5.12.3); however, there was a technique that he did not refer to, that being the use of prefabricated floating caissons. It is surprising that Vitruvius made no mention of them as they were widely used. Based on archaeological evidence a new categorisation of Roman formwork designs used in underwater or submerged concrete construction addresses this omission. Three categories are proposed; 1, for in-situ constructed inundated forms for use with hydraulic concrete; 2, in-situ constructed drained forms for use with non-hydraulic concrete; and 3, prefabricated floating forms for use with hydraulic and nonhydraulic concrete.


Online publication: 2010-10-25
Publication type : full_text
Public price (Euros): 0.00