Navigation Links
Revealing the ancient Chinese secret of sticky rice mortar
Date:5/29/2010

WASHINGTON, May 29, 2010 Scientists have discovered the secret behind an ancient Chinese super-strong mortar made from sticky rice, the delicious "sweet rice" that is a modern mainstay in Asian dishes. They also concluded that the mortar ― a paste used to bind and fill gaps between bricks, stone blocks and other construction materials ― remains the best available material for restoring ancient buildings. Their article appears in the American Chemical Society (ACS) monthly journal, Accounts of Chemical Research.

Bingjian Zhang, Ph.D., and colleagues note that construction workers in ancient China developed sticky rice mortar about 1,500 years ago by mixing sticky rice soup with the standard mortar ingredient. That ingredient is slaked lime, limestone that has been calcined, or heated to a high temperature, and then exposed to water. Sticky rice mortar probably was the world's first composite mortar, made with both organic and inorganic materials.

The mortar was stronger and more resistant to water than pure lime mortar, and what Zhang termed one of the greatest technological innovations of the time. Builders used the material to construct important buildings like tombs, pagodas, and city walls, some of which still exist today. Some of the structures were strong enough to shrug off the effects of modern bulldozers and powerful earthquakes.

Their research identified amylopectin, a type of polysaccharide, or complex carbohydrate, found in rice and other starchy foods, as the "secret ingredient" that appears to be responsible for the mortar's legendary strength.

"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."

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," the article notes.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-6042
American Chemical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Revealing the evolutionary history of threatened sea turtles
2. Revealing new applications for carbon nanomaterials in hydrogen storage
3. $15 million stimulus award creates national consortium for revealing scientific resources
4. Scientists retrace evolution with first atomic structure of an ancient protein
5. CU-Boulder team discovers first ancient manioc fields in Americas
6. Ancient organisms discovered in Canadian gold mine
7. Amber specimen captures ancient chemical battle
8. Ancient whale fall from Californias Año Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
9. Ancient whale fall from Californias Ao Nuevo Island one of youngest, most complete known
10. 454 Sequencing: Science paper describes a novel, highly efficient method of sequencing ancient DNA
11. Newfound ancient African megadroughts may have driven the evolution of humans and fishes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Revealing the ancient Chinese secret of sticky rice mortar
(Date:4/11/2017)... DUBLIN , Apr. 11, 2017 Research ... Tracking Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at ... The report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based ... report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... NEW YORK , April 5, 2017 ... security, is announcing that the server component of the ... is known for providing the end-to-end security architecture that ... customers. HYPR has already secured over 15 ... system makers including manufacturers of connected home product suites ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 30, 2017 The research team of The ... (3D) fingerprint identification by adopting ground breaking 3D fingerprint minutiae recovery ... of speed and accuracy for use in identification, crime investigation, immigration ... ... A research team ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/16/2017)...  This year,s edition of the Inc. 5000 features a now-familiar name: ... has made the list for the third year in a row. Now ... companies based on a set of quantitative metrics. In addition, BioPoint was ... in the Bay State . ... Inc. 5000 ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... After spending the past two years building a state-of-the-art technology which ... offers this platform to healthcare stakeholders (hospitals, foundations, biopharma companies etc.) ... collection vis a vis their members, under their own brand. Three ... offer. ... ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Nanomedical ... and biotherapeutics development, announces the launch of the new NHS Agile biosensor ... kinetic binding data for a wide range of molecules, including small and large ...
(Date:8/15/2017)... ... August 15, 2017 , ... Any expert in stem cell research ... disciplines for more than half a century. Despite their essential roles in human ... widely known that molecular tags developed for this purpose also tag other, more abundant, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: