> Perhaps a stupid question, but an interesting one:
> Will the block eventually dry to the 16 1/2 pounds of inert materials?
> Larry in NE Arizona
The answer is that the dried matter will always weigh more than 14 1/2
pounds of inert matter.
This is because when water comes in contact with cement, which is a
three component molecule, the cement molecule expands to trap water
molecules inside them.
This trapping of water molecules pushes the three components of cement
molecules very tightly against each other and thus impart strength to
Unless the cement is heated to very high temperatures, when it
crumbles because then water evaporates from inside the molecules, it
will retain water inside it.
Do you want links to technical discussion of this mechanism?
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