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Rainer Nobis publishes non fiction book on the history of cement and concrete

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

Cement and concrete expert, Rainer Nobis, has written an entertaining non-fiction book: ‘Illustrated History of Cement and Concrete - The Exciting Development of Two Outstanding Building Materials’.

The new book sheds light on the development of the building materials, cement and concrete. It is not a purely historical or technical book but is aimed at all those who want to learn about the subject of cement in an enjoyable way, be it by delving into the text or by looking at more than 700 illustrations with detailed picture descriptions.

The author, Nobis, reports on the earliest uses of binders long before the Romans, be it bitumen, gypsum and lime mortar or the development of hydraulic lime by adding pozzolana or trass, and much later blast furnace slag and fly ash. The book also describes the early development of Roman and Portland cement by English practitioners or French civil engineers. It then makes a leap to the first use of mass concretes and the long development of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures. The book not only covers the historical development and use of cement and concrete, but also includes the contexts of economic and social history. After all, who knows about the early rivalry between the English and German cement suppliers on the world market, why the colonies had a very hard time building up their own building materials industry, or the special developments China or the United States of America have made?

The book also describes the possibilities of reducing the ecological footprint in cement and concrete production, on the one hand to reduce carbon dioxide emissions during clinker production, but also to improve the image of cement and concrete in the long term. After all, without them, the ongoing urbanisation worldwide would be inconceivable. The urbanisation of life will continue to drive up demand for the building materials in the future. Our modern infrastructure, windmills, roads, subways, harbours or high-rise buildings are not feasible without concrete.

Quote from an expert: "The book is outstanding and comes at the right time. It has never been more necessary to recall the positive contribution of cement and concrete to mankind or to make it explainable. You have more than succeeded!"

The book is not only aimed at all those who are professionally involved with the building materials cement and concrete, but also at the interested layperson. A reading sample is available at and can be purchased online.

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European cement news