Scientists Find Rare Mineral, Aluminous Tobermorite, in Roman Cement

Mar, 2021 - By SMI

Scientists Find Rare Mineral, Aluminous Tobermorite, in Roman Cement

Aluminous Tobermorite is a calcium silicate hydrate mineral which was recently found in roman cement structure in Japan which strengthens walls with time.

Studying the structural integrity of monuments built in the early centuries has always been an area of interest for scientists. People tend to think that modern creations are stronger than ancient ones, but in this case, this thinking does not hold strong. There are many instances where primitive structures are still holding strong and the structures made in modern time require repair work and can succumb to elements frequently. The ancient roman cement found in Japan can get stronger with passing time.

Aluminous Tobermorite was recently found in the walls of Unit 1 of the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Plant in the city of Omaezaki city of Japan. The unit was operated for around 16 years. During that period, the unit was working at full power and the walls were exposed to different temperatures the whole time and are still standing three times stronger than when they were initially built. These findings were confirmed by researchers who conducted tests on the samples of the wall.  Recent studies have shown that the cement gets stronger due to the crystallization of the volcanic ashes present in the cement. The crystals are formed was the ashes dissolve with the seawater creating the mineral called aluminous tobermorite. The crystal mixed with the cement makes it stronger with time. This process is also influence by other factors such as moisture and temperature. There are also some other environmental factors not yet detected by researchers which allows the process to take place in low temperatures. As the mineral needs about 70°C (158 °F) to be produced in the lab by artificial process. With this new information the researchers expect that there will improved cement recipes which will be stronger and long lasting.

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