The word “concrete is derived from the Latin concretus (compact, condensed), representing a conjunction of con (together) and the past participle of cresco (to grow; compare: crescendo). Thus, concrete could be liberally translated as ‘grown solid together,’ alluding to the consolidation of a particulate aggregate material with a cement binder of some sort. Concrete containing aggregate has been used in construction by the ancient Greek and Romans, possibly as a further development of clay initially used by the Assyrians and Babylonians as a binder, later superseded by burnt lime and gypsum by the Egyptians.

As a construction material,...

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