As the title suggests. If roman concrete supposedly has the capabilities to mend tiny cracks via chemical reaction, why isn’t it used with modern reinforcements to seal the pathways to the steel beams to protect it from oxygen and elements and prevent corrosion? Are there any major downsides to hot-mixed concrete, is it not as good as the studies make it out to be, or is it simply not viable due to cost and manufacturing process/storage requirements?
1) Roman concrete was really, really good for its time, but the formula was lost until we figured it out in modern day. If you could go back 1,000 years or even 300 years ago, it might have been a game-changer. But we’ve surpassed Roman concrete.
2) I wouldn’t call the materials that make up Roman concrete “rare” exactly, but seawater and volcanic ash in close proximity is a lot easier to find in Italy than most places, which is a big reason why nobody else rediscovered Roman concrete.
3) The chemical makeup of Portland cement is actually very similar in concept to Roman concrete. Portland cement had a very different discovery history but ultimately Roman concrete is basically just a low tech version of Portland.