What Are The Construction Materials?
Construction is one of the prominent competencies of human beings, which enable us to create better-living conditions for us in the world. Houses, castles, dams, etc., have been constructed to create a better world for mankind. In addition to the construction vehicles and construction equipment, construction materials are of importance. Therefore, numerous elements and materials were used to build houses, castles, walls, etc., throughout history.
In addition, these materials have been preferred due to various reasons to address people's needs. In this article, these construction materials will be explained, and tips for selecting the most suitable building materials will be provided for a better construction project.
Types of Building Materials
Throughout the history, different type of construction materials has been used in building. Wood, straw, clay, metal, bricks, aggregates, concrete, steel, cement, etc., were among these. There are more options for building materials produced by engineers through a combination of different substances for durability.
Natural materials have been used for thousands of years. These include the lumber or glass that is unprocessed or processed a little by the industry. These materials have been generally used to erect houses to suit the weather conditions in their area. While lumber and stone constitute the basic structure of their homes, mud fills the gaps, and glass covers the windows.
As one of the oldest building materials that people have used, wood is a hard natural material used both in interiors and exteriors. While wood can resist compression and has the necessary strength to support the structure, it offers a workable material and adds an appealing touch to the buildings.
Concrete is one of the most widespread materials globally and has contributed much to the formation of the civilization that we enjoy nowadays. Comprised of sand, gravel, and concrete includes cement as the binder. Furthermore, additional chemicals are added to the mixture to speed up or slowing down the hardening. To offer high compressive strength, concrete is reinforced with steel bars.
Bricks have been among the main constituents of the buildings for thousands of years and were previously made of clay. In the modern world, bricks are made of various materials such as soil, sand, clay, lime, ceramics, calcium-silicate, and concrete. The bricks are combined with mortar and facilitate the construction of the walls. Varying as fired and unfired, bricks tend to break when dropped despite their compressive resistance, and therefore, they are needed to be reinforced properly, particularly in the earthquake zones.
Used mainly for decorative purposes and wet floors, ceramics have been made of minerals such as stoneware, earthenware, and porcelain. Furthermore, ceramics that are made of titanium carbide, silicon carbide, and silicon nitride have appeared in modern times. Being durable, fire, and water-resistant, ceramics are primarily used in fireplaces, bathrooms, kitchens, countertops.
As one of the strongest materials in the world, steel is made of iron and carbon. Furthermore, it is further reinforced with other minerals to increase its strength and durability for different purposes. As of the 19th century, steel started to replace iron as the basic construction metal thanks to its durability and corrosion resistance. It is preferred as the main construction material of the skyscrapers in the United States and additional material for the concrete footings and reinforcing bars in the entire world.
Plastic is a synthetic material manufactured from petroleum and is widely used to produce pipes, windows, sidings, flooring, etc. It is a cheap, light, and easy-to-produce material. However, it is not suitable for load-bearing structures and sensitive to temperature.
Except for these building materials, it should be noted that copper, fabric, foam, aluminum, plaster, and stone are also among the frequently used building materials with different specifications.
How To Select Building Materials?
Apart from the engineering quality and solid ground, selecting the suitable building material is the other crucial factor determining your project's durability and beauty. Therefore, the following factors should be taken into consideration while planning construction in addition to the construction equipment.
- Firstly, durability and the strength of the building materials must be the first thing to consider when planning a project.
- The cost of the relevant materials and their availability is another point to be assessed.
- Thirdly, the aesthetic concerns should be evaluated. Considering the whole project, suitable and complementary materials should be chosen.
- The materials used in the construction will require regular maintenance, and therefore, this should also be assessed.
- The logistics is a significant part of the construction process, and therefore, it should be planned carefully when purchasing the necessary materials.
- Lastly, the features and specifications of all the building materials should be considered.