News: The Secret Ingredient to Indestructible 1,500-Year-Old Chinese Architecture

The Secret Ingredient to Indestructible 1,500-Year-Old Chinese Architecture

It is widely known that sticky rice is an essential staple in the Chinese diet. But did you know it also plays an important role in their ancient architecture?

The Secret Ingredient to Indestructible 1,500-Year-Old Chinese Architecture

Since the Ming Dynasty, sticky rice has been the key ingredient in an incredibly strong mortar recipe, which has kept ancient buildings intact to this day. The rice-based mortar has also proven to be incredibly effective at sustaining earthquakes.

The Secret Ingredient to Indestructible 1,500-Year-Old Chinese Architecture

Physorg reports:

"Chemists now have discovered the ingredient in sticky rice that made the mortar so strong.

'Analytical study shows that the ancient masonry mortar is a kind of special organic-inorganic composite material,' the scientists explained. 'The inorganic component is calcium carbonate, and the organic component is amylopectin, which comes from the sticky rice soup added to the mortar. Moreover, we found that amylopectin in the mortar acted as an inhibitor: The growth of the calcium carbonate crystal was controlled, and a compact microstructure was produced, which should be the cause of the good performance of this kind of organic-organic mortar.'

The Secret Ingredient to Indestructible 1,500-Year-Old Chinese Architecture

To determine whether sticky rice can aid in building repair, the scientists prepared lime mortars with varying amounts of sticky rice and tested their performance compared to traditional lime mortar. The test results of the modeling mortars shows that sticky rice-lime mortar has more stable physical properties, has greater mechanical strength, and is more compatible, which make it a suitable restoration mortar for ancient masonry."

Images via Inhabitat.

It’s Black Friday week on WonderHowTo! Don’t miss out on all of the big sales in the Gadget Hacks and Null Byte shops. And if you’ve been wanting to take some classes without going into debt, check out our best deals on online courses for a variety of skill sets. Don’t miss out on these huge discounts:

See Gadget Hacks’s top 10 BF sales on online courses (up to 99% off) >

See Null Byte’s top 13 BF sales on online courses (up to 99% off) >

Our Best Phone Hacks

Gadget Hacks' tips — delivered daily.

Be the First to Comment

Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Latest