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Interesting Facts about Concrete

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Concrete isn’t modern. The oldest ever found isn’t even man-made. It is a 12 million-year-old natural deposit found in Israel in the Sixties in which oil shale had combusted naturally near limestone, producing a natural layer of concrete. Israel is also home to the earliest man-made deposits. In 1985, the excavation of a Neolithic site dating back 9,000 years in southern Galilee revealed a concrete floor, and evidence of a limekiln that had been used to burn limestone to form the cement used to bind and harden sand. Another Neolithic site in Serbia showed a similarly constructed concrete floor.

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Comparing Concrete to Clay

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When choosing your building materials, it is important to have a full understanding of their properties and consequent benefits. Below we compare concrete bricks with clay bricks.

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TCL is on Youtube

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Why Build with Concrete

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Advantages of Concrete

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There are many reasons to choose concrete as your material of choice when building.  We have listed 11.  Check them out below!

  1. Concrete possesses a high compressive strength and is not subjected to corrosive and weathering effects.
  2. Concrete can be easily handled and moulded into any shape.
  3. Concrete can be sprayed in and filled into fine cracks for repairs by via the Gunting process.
  4. In Reinforced Cement Concrete(R.C.C), concrete and steel form a solid combination because the coefficients of expansion of concrete and steel are nearly equal.
  5. Construction of all types of structures is possible by reinforcing the concrete with steel. Even earthquake-resistant structures can be constructed.
  6. Cinder concrete can be used as a sound proofing material.
  7. Where strength is not a main requirement, concrete's fire-resistant, good insulation and light weight properties are major considerations. light weight concrete is advantageous.
  8. concrete can be pumped and hence it can be laid in difficult positions. e.g 
  9. Form work can be used a number of times for similar jobs which result in economy.
  10. When compared to other building materials concrete is more economical in the long run.
  11. Frequent repairs are not needed for concrete structures Concrete gains strength with age.

Source: Construction engineering Blog. 

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TCL Talks; IEEE and their role in accreditation

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International accreditation is important to any degree holder - The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, IEEE, has made this one of their highest priorities as they seek to sustain and improve the accreditation process for all courses of study under Engineering and Computing Sciences.

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Programs of Study Aimed at Construction Careers

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When considering your career path it's always best to include your education options. Last week we looked at which careers in construction earn higher wages. So today we will take a look at some local and international schools.

University of the West Indies:
The UWI offers Undergraduate courses in Engineering including Civil Engineering ,  Land Management and  Industrial Engineering.  A full list of the Engineering programs can be seen here:


University of Trinidad and Tobago:
UTT offers programmes in Engineering, including Marine and Avionics Engineering. They also have a number of Safety courses which can enhance the resume of persons interested in on site positions.   A full listing of UTT's programs can be found here:


Cipriani College of Labour:
Cipriani College has programs in Occupational Health and Safety and Project Management. Check out their website here:


University of Technology - Jamaica:

UTECH offers a Bachelors program in Architectural Studies which has just been approved by the GATE program of Trinidad and Tobago. See the UTECH website here:

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TCL Popular Posts for August

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During the month of August we have directed our Social Media posts to a number of topics, namely Women in Construction, Do it Yourself exercises with Concrete and Cement/Concrete education. In case you missed them, we are giving you the 5 most popular posts for the month of August.

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Cement Technology for Trinidad Drilling Academy

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The TCL Learning Academy was pleased to partner with the NESC Drilling Academy to host our seminar: "Cement Technology for Trinidad Drilling Academy". The seminar took place on Friday 8th August in Ste Madeline. There were 25 drilling students who participated in the seminar that covered the basics of cement and moved into the uses of concrete in the Gas and Oil industry.

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TCL Talks: Lucrative Careers in Construction

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The field of construction generates many career opportunities for all levels of skills and education. Today, we at the TCL Learning Academy, would like to highlight a few of the jobs at the higher end of the remuneration scheme in the construction industry (based on our own research).  

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Caring For Your Concrete Surfaces

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Are you planning some home renovation of building a new structure? It is import to understand how, the mixing, setting and also how you care for your concrete plays a hefty role in the continued quality of your concrete walkway or sculptures. We have put together a few tips to ensure that you get the best out of your concrete, and many, many years of enjoyed use.

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Revolution of Eve

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‘Revolution of Eve’ is a non-profit women's organisation which is based in Austin, Texas. They founded the organisation in January of 2013, their focus and company direction was to "empower women through fitness and mentor-ship." Their first event and lecture planned was a series titled "Breaking the Glass", which was offered in April of 2013.

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The Six Types of Cement

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Cement is a versatile and complex structure with interchangeable compounds and properties. There are six different types of cement with specific defining behaviours and chemical compositions. Below we look at each type and what makes them unique.

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Inspiring Women and Inciting Policy Change in Grenada

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Launched in 1995, the Grenada National Organization of Women (GNOW) has been working towards total equality for women in Grenada. Their Mission Statement being: "To create a change in the socialization and culture of power relations between women and men through sensitization and action for equal participation in the household, the community, the workplace and in national life"- The Caribbean NGO Database.

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Manufacturing Process of Portland Cement

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Now that we have explained what cement is and how it works, we can begin to move into the processes and machinery involved in the creation of cement. Production of Portland cement begins at the Mayo Quarry where the limestone material is excavated, crushed and transported as slurry to the Claxton Bay plant, where the cement manufacturing process is completed.

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Portland Cement

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We have given the basic information on what cement is along with a straightforward idea of how it works. However, did you know that there are several different types of cement? Each type has its own attributes, uses and chemical formulae. Some types are general purpose while others are deeply specialised and refined for use in specific fields.

Today we look at Portland Cement, a type of cement that was first patented in 1824. Currently the basic chemical compounds of Portland Cement include Calcium, Silicon, Aluminium and Iron. Originally, Portland Cement was made from a ground mixture of calcined limestone and argillaceous earth or clay, (argillaceous meaning that it is very clay like in nature). Modern Portland Cement uses limestone, marly limestone, chalk, coral limestone, marble, lime sand and shell deposits to get its calcareous compounds i.e. to provide lime, CaO, as the Calcined Limestone did. Portland Cement now also uses clay, shale, marl, marly clay, ash and slate for its argillaceous compounds, to provide silica, aluminium and iron which are  gained from argillaceous earth or clay.

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What is Cement?

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Cement may be your career, or your hobby, but it is always important to know your tools! How well do you know your  cement ? How does it work? What's in your cement?

Simply put, cement can be defined as a grey powder that is the active ingredient in concrete; the glue that binds the aggregates together upon the addition of water.  Cement is therefore the glue of the projects it's involved in.  It can be used to hold the parts (bricks etc.) together by simply adding water. For a deeper definition we can state that cement is a hydraulic material made by finely grinding clinker (produced by burning a mixture of iron, calcium, aluminium and silica containing materials) together with Gypsum and other additives such as fly ash, pozzolan and slag. This definition gives us a deeper understanding of the chemical composition of cement; it is hydraulic (hardens under water).

From the definitions we can go on to look at how cement works. Dry cement requires water for the hydration process. Water breaks and creates chemical bonds in the components of cement, creating water resistant and insoluble products. The creation of these products is what allows cement to harden without being returned to its fluid form in the presence of water.

Let us know if this has helped you and/or changed your views on the way in which you define or think of cement. We here at the TCL Learning Academy look forward to exchanging more information on cement, its content and production.

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Cement Technology for Trinidad Drilling Academy Seminar

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The TCL Learning Academy was pleased to partner with the NESC Drilling Academy where 25 students participated in our "Cement Technology for Trinidad Drilling Academy" Seminar. The seminar took place in Ste Madeline on Friday 8th August and students were  informed  of the basics of cement: definitions, chemical components, standards and types. There was also a detailed look at the production process for all the different types of cement here in Trinidad. The seminar further discussed the applications of cement specific to the Oil and Gas Industry.

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7 Ways Concrete Roads Will Save the Environment

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Did you know that concrete roads can reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption and reduce the need for artificial lighting at night?

Here’s a list of seven ways in which concrete roads provide tremendous environmental benefits:

  1. Concrete Roads have a long life (at least 40 years) and require minimal repair and maintenance. Many highways in the US have supported a heavy volume of traffic for more than fifty years.
  2. Concrete roads save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Concrete roads use half the amount of granular material needed for asphalt as concrete’s rigidity supplies a major portion of its structural capacity.
  4. Concrete roads are 100% recyclable. At the end of its life, concrete can be crushed and reused as granular fill, sub base material or base course for new pavements.
  5.  Vehicles consume less fuel on concrete roads as concrete’s rigidity reduces the road’s deflection under the load of a vehicle.
  6.  Concrete roads reduce the need for artificial lighting at night. The reflective nature of concrete can achieve a specified luminance level reducing lighting requirement.
  7.  The use of pervious concrete for low volume roads can provide a range of environmental benefits including storm water management, first-flush pollution control and it minimises the impact of development on trees.


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An Ingenious Tactic to Defeat Flooding

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Every rainy season, families are forced to evacuate their homes, farmers lose millions of dollars worth of crops and livestock and human lives are lost due to severe flooding. While the worsening flooding conditions might be attributed to climate change, poor land development practices are a major cause of the problem.

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