The Romans focused on what the Greeks considered of little importance, in particular the construction of roads, aqueducts and sewers to channel the city’s wastewater into the Tiber. ( TEVERE)” Thus, in a famous passage from his Geography, Strabone expressed his admiration for the Roman infrastructure networks. In ancient times, although the microbiological nature of diseases was unknown, the correlation between stagnant water and human health was very clear, and the Rome of the origins needed a system that drained the streams that ran through its valleys. Thus was born the Cloaca Maxima, an impressive infrastructure that tradition assigns to the Great Rome of the Tarquins, but which in its current guise dates back to the Republican and Imperial age, when it assumed the function of the city’s sewer.
By analyzing concrete used to build 2,000-year-old Roman structures, a team of scientists may have found a longer-lasting, greener alternative to modern cement.
History contains many references to ancient concrete, including in the writings of the famous Roman scholar Pliny the Elder, who lived in the 1st century A.D. and died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Pliny wrote that the best maritime concrete was made from volcanic ash found in regions around the Gulf of Naples, especially from near the modern-day town of Pozzuoli. Its virtues became so well-known that ash with similar mineral characteristics–no matter where it was found in the world–has been dubbed pozzolan.
By analyzing the mineral components of the cement taken from the Pozzuoli Bay breakwater at the laboratory of U.C. Berkeley, as well as facilities in Saudi Arabia and Germany, the international team of researchers was able to discover the “secret” to Roman cement’s durability. They found that the Romans made concrete by mixing lime and volcanic rock to form a mortar. To build underwater structures, this mortar and volcanic tuff were packed into wooden forms. The seawater then triggered a chemical reaction, through which water molecules hydrated the lime and reacted with the ash to cement everything together. The resulting calcium-aluminum-silicate-hydrate (C-A-S-H) bond is exceptionally strong.
Maximum load, wherever you are working
Reinforced version of the HD9 tractor, the HHD9 offers in excess of 300 tons of total combined weight and is available in a 3-axle configuration or in the more highly customised 8×8 version for oversize loads.
The HHD9 tractor is ideal for oversize loads in difficult weather and terrain conditions.
Their configuration and robustness are some of the advantages ASTRA vehicles can bring to a mission: configured with different types of arms, they can fit tanks up to 15 cm (where weight regulation limits allow) and are extremely stable when fitted with concrete mixer working, even during travel.
With its 6-cylinder in-line atmospheric aspiration diesel engine (Bussing license) with direct injection of 11,050 cc from 163 hp at 2000 rpm and ZF gearbox with electro-pneumatically controlled reduction gear and a refined cabin built by Aerfer on a chassis built by OTP Melara did not have the Fiat 682 N2 and then the Fiat 690 N as its main enemy, nor the Lancia Esagamma.
The reason for its lack of success, barely 2,500 units built in seven years on the price lists, were the Alfa Romeo branches, commissioners and dealers, who in turn were little solicited by the inspectors of the brand who visited them. Committed to manufacturing sleek sedans and wonderful coupés and spiders, the Casa del Biscione (Alfa Romeo) left the truck sector to starve, officially exiting it in 1965 when model number 2518 left the company assembly lines, while in Brazil the production, marked FNM, continued for years and with some success.
ASTRA Veicoli Industriali Spa is a private company founded in 1946 owned by IVECO since 1986.
With its vast experience and its wide and complete range of heavy-duty civilian vehicles and military products.
The result of technical research aimed at optimizing heavy duty transport vehicles, ASTRA is today an important reference point for quarry and construction site transport for all major construction companies that require a reliable partner both in terms of vehicle robustness and reliability as well as for their after-sales client support.
ASTRA’s philosophy is “tailor-made trucks” – all their vehicles are built to meet the need for various types of transports, giving life to thousands of different vehicle versions.
Everywhere, ASTRA is synonymous with strength, resistance and versatility. Neither the African trails nor the most difficult desert conditions can stop our vehicles working safely and productively, confirming the success of Italian technology across the world.
Presented by ITALMOTOR, Romano Pisciotti
ASTRA – IVECO in Nigeria: Motor Parts Industry ( MPI )
Discovered 3 km long tunnel that connects SICILY and CALABRIA.
An exceptional discovery was made a few days ago. Some workers, during motorway works, discovered a tunnel, dating back to the Punic wars, located under the Strait of Messina.
A discovery made by chance, but which will remain in history. The archaeologists immediately intervened, establishing that the tunnel was built at a depth of between 100 and 200 meters. The cavity is not very big, it measures only 175cm, you can enter one person at a time. Three kilometers long it connects the two banks of the strait Torre Cavallo (Calabria) and the Pilone (Sicily).
The long tunnel is interspersed with small storage rooms and seats, probably it will have been used by the Roman troops to arrive in Sicily. The Roman-Punic war was fought between 264 and 241 BC, in which the two super powers clashed to acquire the supremacy of the Mediterranean Sea.
At the beginning of the conflict, Carthage, located in modern-day Tunisia, was the dominant power in the western Mediterranean. But the Roman Republic came out victorious, imposing great economic sanctions on Carthage. The period to which this tunnel dates back was discovered thanks to carbon measurements. It is thought that there are similar tunnels throughout Sicily. “Only in Villa San Giovanni we found a network of underground tunnels 700 meters long, the same is said in Sicily in Condrò we found 350”, said Marco Manti, a famous archaeologist.
Medieval technology characterizes the technological level of humanity on the eve of the great geographical discoveries.
Despite the notoriety of the Middle Ages as an epoch of stagnation and crisis, however, it was during this period that water transport was improved, which made it possible to travel around the world. To a large extent, long journeys have become possible thanks to navigation devices: astrolabe and compass. To determine the time, starting from the tenth century, mechanical clocks began to be used, which were placed on the towers of the town halls of European cities. Roger Bacon invents glasses (13th century). Information technologies are also developing: paper appears on which the signs are applied with the aid of ink and pens.
Gothic cathedrals exceeded the pyramids of ancient Egypt in height. The pyramid of Cheops was 146 meters high and was considered one of the seven wonders of the world, but Lincoln Cathedral, built in the early 14th century, was 15 meters higher than the pyramid of Cheops.
This is largely made possible by the use of a pointed arch. Both water and windmills are widely used. If the water mill was already known to Vitruvius, windmills appeared in Iran in the 7th century. If in the beginning mills were used to grind grain, the rotating shaft began to be used in various types of manufacturing production, and for the manufacture of textiles, crushing of minerals, papermaking, sawdust or drive bellows. Agricultural technology is improving: a wheeled plow and a horse collar (9th century) appear. The ancient chariots are replaced by medieval cavalry, unthinkable without the invention of the stirrup. In the Middle Ages, firearms were born. Metalworking is reaching new heights. Long steel blades (Damascus steel) are spreading. At the end of the Middle Ages the forge was replaced by a blast furnace (14th century), which allowed to reach a temperature of 1200 degrees C and to melt the cast iron, necessary for the casting of cannons and projectiles.
The truck was born a few years after the car and was soon differentiated by construction solutions, dimensions and so on.
We could ask ourselves why that even brief “delay” occurred; one reason in all likelihood was that for the pioneers of the car it was much more attractive to provide a means of transport to people, arousing curiosity and entertainment, rather than offering a tool for transporting things. A second reason was undoubtedly the very limited power that the first car engines had at the end of the 19th century, barely able to carry two or four passengers, certainly not a significant load.
Finally, the very high cost that motor vehicles had up to the Great War could be borne by the few who could afford it, as a car, as well as a practical tool, was a sign of wealth and gave prestige. On the contrary, a truck had to justify its cost with the economic benefits it brought to its owner and this was not so easy to obtain at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Il camion è nato pochi anni dopo l’automobile e se ne è ben presto differenziato, per soluzioni costrut- tive, dimensioni e quant’altro. Potremmo chiederci perché si ebbe quel sia pur breve “ritardo”; un motivo con ogni probabilità fu che per i pionieri dell’auto- mobile era molto più attraente fornire un mezzo di trasporto a persone, suscitando curiosità e di diverti- mento, piuttosto che offrire uno strumento per il tra- sporto di cose. Un secondo motivo fu senza dubbio la limitatissima potenza che avevano i primi motori per automobili, a fine Ottocento, a stento in grado di por- tare due o quattro passeggeri, di certo non un carico significativo. Infine, il costo molto elevato che i mezzi a motore ebbero fino alla Grande Guerra poteva esse- re sostenuto, dai pochi che se lo potevano permettere, in quanto un’automobile, oltre che strumento pratico, era segno di ricchezza e dava prestigio. Al contrario, un camion doveva giustificare il proprio costo con i vantaggi economici che arrecava al suo possessore e questo non era così facile da ottenere all’inizio del Novecento.
In ancient times, the greatest advances in the arts and techniques took place in Roman times, when the abstract speculative spirit of the Greek world was united, which concerned not only philosophy but also mathematics and geometry, with the organizational and executive rationality typical of the Romans .
Plinio il Vecchio (23-79 AD): “Those who want to carefully consider the quantity of water for public use for the baths, swimming pools, fountains, houses, suburban gardens, villas; the distance from which the he comes, the conduits that have been built, the mountains that have been drilled, the valleys that have been crossed, he will have to recognize that nothing in the whole world has ever existed more wonderful “.
Having to cross rather deep or long depressions, the Romans used the inverted siphon; the siphon is a U-shaped pipe that is inserted into a duct, which is still used today to create an obstacle (a “hydraulic plug”) to the passage of bad smells due to the presence of residual water in its loop
The reverse siphon is based on the principle of communicating vessels. If the liquid is introduced into a U-shaped tube from one of the two sides, it rises to the other side of the tube at a level equal to that of the other side.
In the ‘canal’ aqueducts, if a valley that was too wide or with a difference in height between the top of the valley and the underlying plain was encountered, the reverse siphon was used.
The water from the canal was introduced into lead pipes that descended into the valley (belly of the siphon) to go up the other side even if at a slightly lower altitude due to pressure drops.
In this way the overall gradient was respected and the speed decreased so that it did not press too much on the pipes. In short, the siphon prevented the pipes from breaking due to pressure in the aqueducts and in the houses so that bad smells did not reach.
From a technical point of view it seems that the Roman siphon was usually conceived as a simple inverted siphon (so-called U-tube); this simplifies its operation, as only an adequate pressure drop is required. However, the Barratina siphon in the Termini Imerese area shows that real siphons like those of today were also built, which however required greater maintenance.
The siphon pipes were usually made of welded lead, sometimes reinforced with concrete linings or stone sleeves. Less often, the pipes themselves were made of stone or ceramic, jointed as tongue-and-groove and sealed with lead.
Presented by Romano Pisciotti
The valves of the ancient Romans were made of bronze with a high content of anti-friction lead, that is, it holds without gaskets, anti-corrosion and ductile for easy turning. The valve was of three pieces: the body, the male, the bottom.