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Sticky Rice Is the Key To Super Strong Mortar

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-can't-sticky-rice-do? dept.

Earth 194

lilbridge writes "For over 1,500 years the Chinese have been using sticky rice as an ingredient in mortar, which has resulted in super strong buildings, many of which are still standing after hundreds of years. Scientists have been studying the sticky rice and lime mortar to unlock the secrets of its strength, and have just determined the secret ingredient that makes the mortar more stable and stronger. The scientists have also concluded that this mixture is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings, which means it is probably also appropriate for new construction as well."

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Two more (5, Funny)

qortra (591818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436594)

Based on experiences with my dishwasher, I can also predict that buildings made with oatmeal or cheese will also stand the test of time.

Once you see the rice in action ... (5, Funny)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436882)

you'll shit bricks.

Re:Once you see the rice in action ... (3, Funny)

darthdavid (835069) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436958)

More like cinder-blocks...

Re:Two more (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436946)

Or potatos. Do NOT put potatos down your garbage disposal; I found that out the hard way. Had to rent an electric plumber's snake to unplug the damned drain. The disposal has no problems, it's after they go down the drain and harden.

Re:Two more (4, Informative)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437230)

Or potatos. Do NOT put potatos down your garbage disposal; I found that out the hard way. Had to rent an electric plumber's snake to unplug the damned drain. The disposal has no problems, it's after they go down the drain and harden.

It's ok Dan, you can use 'Es' this time.

But on a serious note, you were essentially putting one half of a binary glue down your drain. The other part of that binary product is water which your disposal kindly mixed for you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatpaste [wikipedia.org]

Re:Two more (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438246)

That, is some seriously awesome thing to know. It makes so much sense too, if you think about the last time you made pasta...

No more Scotch tape for me!

Re:Two more (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437616)

I recently had a problem with my disposal, but it was just the peels that did it.

Re:Two more (5, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437002)

Rice is pretty strong. My wife once dumped a partially-cooked pot of rice down the kitchen sink, where it proceeded to swell up to an impenetrable clog. Being a fool, I got a plunger and just kept at it with increasing force until the all the water (and drano) that had pooled up, suddenly went right down the drain - and straight into the cupboard, because I'd knocked the rice-cemented plumbing right off the bottom of the sink.

Re:Two more (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437246)

For organic matter you're frequently better off using enzymes or bacteria to deal with slow drains than chemicals. Although in this case I doubt that would've done much good as you generally need some water flow in order for it to work properly.

Re:Two more (2, Funny)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438050)

In this instance what he needed was a bucket and a new "P" trap. Or at least a bucket and a chisel, to remove the cemented rice. I have had plenty of maintenance men say that rice kills pipes.

Raw rice isn't too good for birds either as they tend to eat, drink, expand & explode. Similar to pitching a seagull an Alka Seltzer, only in slow motion. This is why the tradition was changed to throw bird seed.

Re:Two more (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437288)

Maybe that's what BP should do to the oil well... dump a lot of pots of half-cooked rice down it :)

Re:Two more (5, Funny)

nigelo (30096) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437412)

The other favourite is to carefully capture the dirty water in a bucket when disconnecting the drain, stand up, then think: 'where can I lose this? I know! Down the drain...' Wet feet.

The romans build concrete buildings (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436596)

Many of which are still standing, 2000 years later.

I predict the common factor may be the concrete.

hth.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (2, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436626)

Tell that to the idiots who build the building I am working in in the 70s - concrete, and nothing but concrete. It is crumbling now. Yay for engineering efforts...

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (5, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436754)

There are people who know how to do concrete right. And then there are people who know how to do concrete cheap.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (5, Funny)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436764)

You're working in the 70s? Aren't wages much lower? Why don't you invest in Apple, Microsoft, or IBM instead?

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32438126)

You're working in the 70s? Aren't wages much lower? Why don't you invest in Apple, Microsoft, or IBM instead?

You're working in the 70s? Aren't wages much lower? Why don't you invest in Apple, Microsoft, or IBM instead?

Because it will take 40 years for apple stock to be worth anything.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438330)

Because it will take 40 years for apple stock to be worth anything.

But you could double your money in that time!

(actually, compared to most people's 401k performance over the last 3 years, that WOULD be an improvement.)

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32438190)

Hey, there's an old TV movie I've been looking for - "Three on a Date" - can you tape it for me? It'll probably be on in 1978. Just put it in a mailbox and the Matrix will get it to me.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438210)

You're working in the 70s?

Yes... Internet connections were *very* slow back then. That's why his message took around 35 years to reach Slashdot. In fact, he was very insightful, as Slashdot wouldn't be invented for almost another quarter century.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436854)

You're sure there's no rebar, no iron at all? I doubt it. It's the iron inside the concrete that contributes to its decay, because the metal expands and contracts with seasonal changes in temperature. Concrete without iron in it may be structurally weaker, but it will last a lot longer if kept within proper parameters for loads. (Hence why the Romans' stuff is still around.)

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436944)

Yes, of course there is rebar - the point I was trying to make is that concrete as such is not the common factor, it is how you treat the concrete, it is what you add to it. On the current topic - the rice might actually be an interesting factor. I was just trying to load off some snark on the "ohh, it is the concrete, stupid scientists"-crap posted above.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437216)

it's not just that is has rebar, it's also the implementation of the rebar. if it's ever exposed, then it's more susceptible to rust. many structures from before the 70s would have exposed rebar that ended up being the cause of early crumbling.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438282)

The fun part is keeping the water in the concrete from causing the rust itself... (oh, and you have to seal it too, because concrete will absorb water. Enough water and the rebar will rust..)

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (4, Interesting)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437322)

It wasn't until the 80's or 90's that romans use of fly ash became common knowledge. Back in the 70's, roman concrete was still in the "ancient mysteries" column.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (5, Informative)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437460)

It's the iron inside the concrete that contributes to its decay, because the metal expands and contracts with seasonal changes in temperature.

Uh, so does concrete. Actually, they expand and contract at nearly the same exact rate depending on the composition of the steel and concrete. Without the steel you'd need a ridiculous amount of concrete to make up for it because concrete has a lower tensile strength. Adding enough concrete to make it work properly would make concrete structures very bulky and would limit their height considerably.

(Hence why the Romans' stuff is still around.)

The Roman stuff is still around because it was VERY thick, not because it didn't have steel. It probably would be in significantly better shape if they used steel.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437664)

"Nearly" is the operative word here. Repeat a 'near' difference 2000 times and tell me how inconsequential it is, especially when it comes to shifting the weight of a structure over and over again.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Informative)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437918)

"Nearly" is the operative word here. Repeat a 'near' difference 2000 times and tell me how inconsequential it is, especially when it comes to shifting the weight of a structure over and over again.

That's not really how it works. After the concrete cures the concrete and steel are at a sort of equilibrium. Whenever the structure is at or close to that temperature, everything is peachy. It's at extreme temperatures when you start to see expansion(or contraction). The coefficient of thermal expansion for concrete and steel are not only very close, they are extremely low. Meaning you'd need un-earthly variations before you'd see any detectable amount of variation.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437942)

That last sentence almost made sense. But it's 5 o'clock and I'm going home so I don't care.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438342)

As has been already stated, the concrete and steel bond and do expand and contract at the same rate. Additionally, the pH of the concrete is what prevents the steel from rusting. Usually. This is why they will throw crappy, rusted rebar into the mix, as it won't matter as soon as it sets up.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438324)

So that's why there aren't any Roman toilets around anymore. They couldn't handle the load.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32438240)

They don't make things like they used to.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436628)

romans built strong concrete as they had volcanic ash to work with. volcanic ash unlike rice is hard to find.
so no, the common factor in both cases is not the same.

Hard to find volcanic ash.. (1)

DeafZombie (1144079) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437378)

Europe would disagree with that statement...

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437630)

We actually do have a common factor with volcanic ash called fly ash. It's properties are very similar to volcanic ash and quite easy to come by with all the coal power plants around. As stated above, Roman's built strong concrete because it was incredibly thick. Modern concrete at the same thickness would last far longer, but it's prohibitively expensive and bulky.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Funny)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436646)

Water is also a common ingredient. Hmmm... :p

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (4, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436796)

Works for Eskimos...

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Interesting)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436886)

One additive that gives strength to concrete the Roman built with is blood [uiuc.edu] . It doesn't have to be human blood. Funny how the quality of concrete and steel deteriorated during the period 1200 - 1500. I wonder what could have been going on in Europe then. ;) Blood still works well, but does tend to tint the material pinkish or reddish for a long time.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32437122)

I wonder what could have been going on in Europe then. ;)

Christianity

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437674)

It got harder to throw enough workers into the mixers.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438306)

The Black Plague was happening during that time (peak 1350), you would think they could have gotten enough blood and another spare parts you wanted.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (3, Interesting)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438218)

Eh, I thought the secret ingredient in Roman concrete was volcanic ash? When medieval people elsewhere tried making concrete to the ancient specifications, they ended up with some watery messes and gave up on the whole thing for centuries.

Re:The romans build concrete buildings (2, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436992)

This isn't concrete -- it's lime mortar (which isn't used anymore). This is just a very hard lime mortar due to the additives -- it doesn't give any strength comparisons to portland cement. I imagine it's significantly less strong, though, despite the headline. This is "super strong" compared to plain ol' lime mortar.

Amylopectin (4, Informative)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436620)

I didn't know the critical ingredient was a mystery. Alton Brown from Good Eats explained the molecule quite well in the rice episode, and my immediate thought was "oh that must be why it was used in mortar for the Great Wall and such."

Re:Amylopectin (5, Informative)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437166)

Thing is, lime mortar hasn't really been used for about 150 years, so there's no research into it for modern building applications. Since OPC is better in every regard, including strength, repairing old lime mortar hasn't really been of concern until recently, when there's been more of a push to accurately repair historical buildings and structures. However, you're not exactly right with the Great Wall -- it was built 2200 years ago, whereas TFA notes that this particular process was done 1500 years ago.

Still, I imagine this was also prevalent in Pre-Columbian architecture too, only with corn. Boil the corn, then use the leftover water.

Re:Amylopectin (2, Informative)

serbanp (139486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438336)

However, you're not exactly right with the Great Wall -- it was built 2200 years ago, whereas TFA notes that this particular process was done 1500 years ago. .

ugh, the Great Wall was nominally finished during the Ming dynasty, in the 1400s. Unlike the oldest sections, built with rammed soil and stone, the more modern parts did use bricks and mortar.

Re:Amylopectin (5, Informative)

rritterson (588983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437170)

From reading the physorg summary linked in the article linked in the summary on Slashdot (why we have to link to tertiary sources, I don't know) it seems that it isn't the polymer branching of the molecule that lends the mortar strength- the amylopectin doesn't even directly add strength as far as I can tell. Instead, it's that the amylopectin breaks up the crystallization of the lime in the mortar, creating micro crystals instead. I can imagine a big crystal being quite brittle with all of the possible shear planes.

So, it wasn't as obvious to me why the amylopectin made it stronger.

Sounds like (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436624)

Ancient Chinese Secret

Damn you Mongolians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436688)

Sticky rice keep those damn Mongorians from browing up my shitty wall!

Re:Damn you Mongolians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436966)

Lol!!

Re:Sounds like (0)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437028)

Except they don't put the lime in the coconut

Re:Sounds like (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437900)

No, it was rice, not Calgon.

Where will the rice come from? (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436652)

Er, do we have such an overabundance of rice that it can be pressed into use as a building material?

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436762)

Exactly! Rice doesn't grow on trees, you know!

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Funny)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436876)

Someone might be able to make a genetically modified version that grows on walls. That would be cool.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436804)

China probably does.. I mean sure it has a billion people, but apparently it produces 25% of the world's rice.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Interesting)

cowboy76Spain (815442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436810)

Yeah, it is not like it grows in trees...

One main advantage is that it is easier to replenish than minerals. You can grow a field of rice, collect it and then grow it again next year. If you get a mineral (v.g. carbon) from a mine, the next year your only chance to get more carbon is to dig further. Also it helps capturing CO2 from air instead of adding into it.

DISCLAIMER1: I know rice is a plant but not a tree.

DISCLAIMER2: I am not saying that this mortar has no disavantages (old buildings may have survived a long time, but they used walls several times thicker than we have now; perhaps using it with moderns bricks is not useful. Anyway, an interesting idea.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438158)

i wonder what the R value on the thicker walls is, and if it is cheaper per foot of wall? even if you have to make it longer to get the same inside space, it could be cheaper and more insulating.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (4, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436816)

Yes, we do have enough rice.

We have enough food production that no one should go hungry.

People go hungry due to politics and poor distribution, not overall quantity of food.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438062)

People go hungry due to politics and poor distribution, not overall quantity of food.

Actually, we have the capacity to deal with poor distribution as well, so it all boils down to politics. Someone is deciding that people should starve to death.

Re:Where will the rice come from? (2, Interesting)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437062)

We could, but it doesn't matter -- we don't use lime mortar anymore. We use portland cement.

Not to worry! (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437464)

As soon as Monsanto works out how to create GMO corn that produces amylopectin, we'll be all set to use it in America!

.

sounds like a job for the MythBusters! (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436658)

sounds like a job for the MythBusters!

Re:sounds like a job for the MythBusters! (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437172)

I'd rather see them pump the sticky rice down an oil well to find out if it works better than duct tape.

Re:sounds like a job for the MythBusters! (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437336)

I'd rather see them pump the sticky rice down an oil well to find out if it works better than duct tape.

Maybe that's who BP needs to hire?

Re:sounds like a job for the MythBusters! (3, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437714)

better than duct tape

SYNTAX ERROR

Re:sounds like a job for the MythBusters! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32437576)

Every time somebody at the ministry of Ancient Secrets in Beijing has a slow day we wind up with some stupid thing that you can disprove in ten minutes on Google.

The Chinese claim to have invented everything!
Oh please..

The Great Wall of America (3, Insightful)

tacarat (696339) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436668)

So is this a good time to invest in California calrose growers?

US Homes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436712)

In the US they don't even build homes with bricks. Almost all mew home constructions are wooden shacks.

Re:US Homes (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436756)

It's worse then that. They just built a whole new neighborhood in Beaverton, Oregon, designed to look like on old downtown shopping district. All the buildings are woodframe covered with brick facing!

Re:US Homes (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436798)

And? The developer obviously wanted ~75% of the effect, instead of 100% but with doubled costs. What's your point?

Re:US Homes (1, Insightful)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437562)

The point is there're two places they build with wood: the Third World and America...

Re:US Homes (2, Informative)

cowscows (103644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437608)

It is extremely rare these days to build a building with load-bearing brick walls. To go up more than a couple stories, the walls end up being ridiculously thick, and as a result ridiculously heavy. So you end up not just paying for lots more brick, but also for a much more serious foundation. Your labor costs also go way up, because bricklaying is time consuming, and harder to do well than you might think.

Most brick buildings are just a veneer, whether they're over concrete, steel, or wood. Wood is actually one of the hardest to do, because the wood tends to shrink over time while the brick tends to expand due to heat and moisture. The brick is tied back to the wood pretty regularly, so these changes can cause serious cracking if you don't design for it.

Re:US Homes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436786)

Thank goodness Mew are so rare or this could be a problem.

Re:US Homes (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436832)

You should see what we build our trailer parks out of.

Re:US Homes (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437348)

You should see what we build our trailer parks out of.

...Dirt?

Re:US Homes (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437720)

Trash?

Re:US Homes (5, Funny)

eggy78 (1227698) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437536)

Jack Daniels and broken dreams?

Re:US Homes (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436914)

While bricks are awesome aesthetically (IMO), they are really only a good idea in very stable areas. If you are near fault lines like the West Coast of the US and are at risk for earthquakes, stay away from brick buildings. When the earth moves, you want to move with it. Smaller wooden structures are very good at that.

I hope this doesn't take (1)

TooMad (967091) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436784)

Sticky rice is for sushi and sushi alone. If the demand for sticky rice goes up then the cost for already expensive sushi goes up and we can't have that.

Re:I hope this doesn't take (2, Interesting)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436934)

You need to try sticky rice with mango - my mouth started watering as soon as I saw the title for this story just thinking about it. Sticky rice is for a lot more than sushi.

Re:I hope this doesn't take (2, Interesting)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437038)

Strange as it sounds, sticky rice with apples and peanut butter (and perhaps some cinnamon) is quite delicious as well. I'll be putting the mango on my to-try list, though...

Re:I hope this doesn't take (5, Informative)

Threni (635302) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437390)

You're wrong, I'm afraid. Although the rice used in Sushi is sticky, it's not what is generally called sticky/glutinous rice. Sticky rice is used in various Asian, especially Thai dishes, either with savoury food like pork, or as a dessert with fruit such as with mango or durian, and salty coconut milk.

Re:I hope this doesn't take (2, Funny)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438176)

Sticky rice is for sushi and sushi alone.

Ahh, no my friend, the best application for sticky rice is being steamed together with yummy chinese sausages and chicken, all wrapped up in a banana leaf...mmmm...sticky rice...

Speaking of possible industrial uses for Dim Sum foods, I propose shrimp dumplings as a universal lubricant. At least the darn things always are whenever they see me coming at them with a pair of chopsticks...

cc

Shamwow Guy? (1)

drumcat (1659893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32436788)

We need the Shamwow Guy to do commercials comparing this to his caulk.

Re:Shamwow Guy? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436842)

We need the Shamwow Guy to do commercials comparing this to his caulk.

haha caulk!

Re:Shamwow Guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32436856)

Too bad Billy Mays isn't around to pull a fully-loaded tractor trailer using only rice goo.

Will someone please... (2, Insightful)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437010)

...provide this information to BP?

Re:Will someone please... (4, Funny)

swanzilla (1458281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438032)

...provide this information to BP?

Dear BP,

Scientists have concluded that sticky rice/lime mortar is the most appropriate for restoration of ancient and historic buildings.

How is that oil spill thing going?

Best regards,

some guy on ./

Slash or Dot (1)

gsgriffin (1195771) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437014)

Rice...humm... are we talking about slash or dot on this site? You can tell when nerds get outside of their comfort zone in discussion...they will end up by talking about sex or food. I see the food comments above...

Recipe? (1)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437016)

This article is useless without a recipe!

Darn right! (2, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437150)

How MUCH sticky rice per how much lime, etc. Or how much purified additive? (Though adding cooked(?) rice, as the Chinese did, would probably end up inexpensive and may also add more strength as it collapses and forms voids, making a concrete foam structure.)

I was about to make a post complaining about the lack of useful information. But you beat me to it AND phrased it brilliantly. Kudos.

Re:Darn right! (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437272)

... and may also add more strength as it collapses and forms voids, making a concrete foam structure

"add more strength" should have read "increase strength to weight ratio and/or toughness".

Rice absorbs water. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32437108)

Less water is available for the hydration reaction.
The water-to-cement ratio goes up.
Therefore the strength of the concrete/mortar goes up.

By the same logic .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32437156)

Beans should dramatically improve explosives.

Re:By the same logic .... (1)

CCarrot (1562079) | more than 4 years ago | (#32438220)

Beans should dramatically improve explosives.

...and jalapenos should improve flamethrowers...

why doesn't the rice part biodegrade ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32437270)

why doesn't the rice part biodegrade ?

Brace yourselves gentlemen (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437492)

According to the gas chromatograph, the secret ingredient in Chinese construction is... Love!? Who's been screwing with this thing?

.

Re:Brace yourselves gentlemen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32438258)

According to the gas chromatograph, the secret ingredient in Chinese construction is... Love!? Who's been screwing with this thing? .

stop trying to be like that unfunny jon stewart

Super str5ong Mortar (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 4 years ago | (#32437822)

What is the effective range, and what calibre projectiles does it fire?

Can it be equipped with smart munitions? I hear they have even developed anti-tank rounds for 81mm and 120mm mortars.

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