our lives are full of artificial materials – plastic bottles, steel structures and glass facades.

But while these may seem like the most common man-made materials, our world is built on concrete. As the most popular man-made material on earth, it is the second most consumed substance after water.

OSo says the giant Korean-based construction and engineering company Samsung C&T, and writer Robert Courland agrees. He titled his 2011 book Concrete Planet: The Strange and Fascinating Story of the World’s Most Common Man-Made Material.

It’s important to understand that although the words cement and concrete are used interchangeably, cement is simply an ingredient of concrete.

But it is the ingredient.As the Portland Concrete Association of the US makes it clear, “concrete is formed when portland cement creates a paste with water that binds with sand and rock to harden”

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