Delicious sticky rice used as mortar

By Peter Chubb - Jun 3, 2010

Who would have thought that delicious sticky rice would be used for anything other than a tasty food dish? Well we have recently learned that the ancient Chinese used this as mortar and is thought to be the best way to help restore old building and bring them back to their former glory.

The rice mortar is used to fill in gaps that have appeared in brick and stone buildings, and sticks to each part to form a strong bond. According to the Daily Mail, Doctor Bingjian Zhang and a number of his colleagues discovered that ancient Chinese workers developed a sticky rice mortar around 1,500 years ago; they did this by mixing together sticky rice soup along with slaked lime – the main mortar ingredient.

It is thought that this sticky rice mortar was the first organic and inorganic composite mortar; the building material was even more resistant to water than pure lime mortar – this has to be one of the best technological innovations we have seen in a long time.

To give you an idea of how strong this rice mortar was, it is thought that it could withstand earthquakes and bulldozers. We wish that our builders of today were this inventive, even a strong wind can blow slates and tiles off a building – it seems that in some ways we are going backwards.

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  • Paul

    Why is this news. We learned about this in school 20 years ago. This mortar was used in the making of the great wall.