BRAE433 - Sample Paper -- Natural Cement

BRAE433 - Sample Paper -- Natural Cement - Alexander 1...

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Alexander 1 Nadya Alexander Dr. Styles BRAE 433 30 Nov 2009 NATURAL HYDRAULIC CEMENT History of Natural Cement in America Lime mortar and hydraulic cement have been used in construction projects for over 5,000 years. During the Roman Empire hydraulic cement was used to construct an extensive aqueduct system; however, this knowledge was lost after the collapse of the Empire (UIUC 2009). It was not until the 18 th century that the properties of naturally occurring hydraulic cement were rediscovered by civil engineers. The properties of natural cement were first investigated in modern times by John Smeaton, a British engineer who designed the Eddystone Lighthouse in 1756. Smeaton determined that argillaceous limes worked best for cement used in underwater construction. In the United States, major projects, such as the construction of the Middlesex Canal in Massachusetts in 1803, were built using the same technology being developed in Europe. Loammi Baldwin, the lead engineer for the Middlesex project, shipped volcanic ash from the West Indies to Boston in order to create a hydraulic pozzonaic (calcium hydroxide based) cement for the canal (Howe 2007). After the War of 1812, the development of domestic cement received Federal funding when Congress founded the Bernard Commission to improve military installations along the eastern seaboard. One of the commission members, General Joseph Totten, began researching cement that would set more quickly than lime in the coastal conditions (Martin and Uracius 2005). One of the major civilian projects which developed the use of hydraulic cement was the construction of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Albany in New York State in 1817 (Snell and Snell 2008). Previous concrete projects had used a lime-based mortar. This mortar requires carbon dioxide to cure and therefore cannot harden under water. The lead engineer on the Erie Canal, Benjamin Wright, sent a young engineer named Canvass White to England to study the concrete waterways there. White studied the production of cement in England and returned to the United States confident that cement could be produced domestically (Stuart 1871). In 1818 dolomite, the rock appropriate for hydraulic natural cement, was discovered in Fayetteville, NY. In 1828 a large deposit of dolomite was discovered in Rosendale, NY. Between 1823 and 1838, Totten engaged in a wide range of masonry tests on different types of natural cement. In 1842 he published his results, which determined that Rosendale cement had the best set times and strength characteristics. Prior to the publication of Totten’s findings, less than one million barrels of Rosendale cement were being produced each decade. In the decades following, production increased dramatically, peaking at 53 million barrels in the late nineteenth century (Martin and Uracius 2005). The dolomite rock used to produce Rosendale cement is found in small
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Alexander 2 deposits throughout the United States, but the Rosendale veins are the largest discovered
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BRAE433 - Sample Paper -- Natural Cement - Alexander 1...

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