Bureau of Reclamation Banner

Improving Concrete Longevity and Durability Using Natural Pozzolans and Roman Mix Designs

Project ID: 7137
Principal Investigator: Audrey Rager
Research Topic: Improving Geotechnical Infrastructure Reliability
Funded Fiscal Years: 2014
Keywords: dam safety, global climate change, carbon emissions, concrete durability, concrete petrography, roman concrete

Research Question

Concrete durability and longevity are essential to dam safety. Roman concrete has endured for centuries and is the most durable and long lasting concrete in the world. Recent studies indicate Roman concrete was produced by the combination of certain types of volcanic ash and lime. In this study, we will attempt to recreate Roman-style concrete using materials available in the western United States.

Need and Benefit

More durable and longer-lasting concrete has many benefits. Dam safety is increased. Taxpayers spend less money on repairing concrete that begins to degrade after a few decades. When concrete lasts a long time, less concrete needs to be produced, decreasing carbon dioxide emissions, thus lessening our impact on the environment.

Contributing Partners


Research Products

A report describing the chemistry and petrography of volcanic ash in the Western U.S. and results of tests on the Roman-style concrete. This study may be submitted for publication in a professional journal.

This information was last updated on November 29, 2014
Contact the Research and Development Office with questions or comments about this page