What Is Building Materials?
“Building material is the material which is used for the construction purpose.”
Each building material posses different properties like weight, strength, durability, and cost which makes it suitable for certain types of applications. The selection of material types is based on cost and effectiveness to resisting the loads and stresses acting on the structure. The following are the building materials in civil engineering.
List of Materials Used In Building Construction
The following are the list of materials used to build a house with pictures and their uses,
- Mud and Clay
- Clay bricks and Blocks
- Stone and Rock
- Wood and Timber
- Fired Bricks and Clay Blocks
Types of Building Materials
The following are the list of building materials with pictures.
1. Mud and Clay
Mud is defined as the mixture of soil, loam, silt, or clay with the water. It generally naturally form after the rainfall near to the river or water sources. After some time the mud hardens and makes a mudstone.
As a building material mud is a semi-fluid material that can be used to coat, seal, and adhere materials. Mud referred to as with many different names by its different components like slurry, mortar, plaster, stucco, and concrete.
Generally, a mixture of subsoil and water with the addition of the stone, gravel, straw, lime, and bitumen is usually used to build walls, floors, and even roofs. In the past, the mud is usually used to plaster the building wall, construction of building walls, and use to make mud bricks.
Mud mixture with some binder like bitumen or cement called stabilized mud. It is also is known as the mudcreate, landcrete, and soil cement.
- Mud bricks
- Mud plaster
- Mud mortar
- Mud concrete
2. Clay Bricks and Blocks Types of Building Materials
The mud bricks are known as the Clay bricks. It also called as the adobe.
The mud or clay is a mixture with water and placing into the moulds and then allowing dry in the open air. As a binder straw is sometime within the bricks, it makes them a composite, if the straw does not use the bricks are easy to break, due to the straw the bricks are redistributed the force throughout the bricks and reduce the chances of breakage.
The building used this type of bricks are generally protected from the ground water.
- Mud or clay bricks are commonly used to build homes or other necessary structures.
Sand is a generally granular material composed of the finely divided rock and mineral particles. It also defines based on the size, being finer than gravel and coarser than silt. It one of the essential types of building materials.
The most common content of the sand is silica (sio2). It is usually in the form of quartz. The second most common content is calcium carbonate.
Sand is a NON RENEWABLE RESOURCE, usually sand is used to making a concrete in demand now a days.
- River sand
- Desert sand
- Beach sand
- Marine or ocean sand
- To protect against the flood the sandbags are used.
- It also used as an abrasive in cleaning, preparing, and polishing.
Aggregates are the most commonly used material in construction. Also, the aggregates are the most mining material in the world.
Aggregate is the main component of the composite material such as the concrete and asphalt concrete. It gives the strength to the overall composite material.
The aggregates have high hydraulic conductivity value compare to the soil. So it widely use in the drainage application such as foundation, septic drain fields, retaining wall drains, and road side drainage.
The aggregates are commonly used for a stable foundation or a road/rail base because it have uniform properties or a low cost extender that binds with more expensive cement or asphalt to form concrete.
Generally aggregates are classified in to 2 types:-
Coarse aggregates:- >4.75 mm
Fine aggregates:- <4.75 mm
- Stone quarry
- Asphalt concrete
- Cement concrete
- Road and Rail base foundation
- Retaining wall drainage
- Roadside drainage
5. Stone or Rock
Rock is a naturally available material. It is use in construction at different places. The stone or rock which is been use in construction is hard, durable, tough and free from the weathered soft patches of materials, cracks, and other defects which reduce the strength and durability of a rock.
The rocks or stone use for construction has various different application based on their properties.
Some different types of rock or stone listed below:-
- Stone quarry
- Road construction
- Rubble masonry
- Bridge piers
- Retaining walls
- Base for rails
- Bridges and dams
- Retaining walls
- Curbs and stone columns
- As a kitchen platform
- Riser and trade-in staircase
- Door and windows framing
Ornamental works like columns, flooring, steps.
With the help of dry vegetation such as straw, water reed, sedge, rushes, heather, or palm branches roof of the building is crafted is known as the thatching. Due to thatching, the shaded water does not come to the inner roof. Due to densely packed vegetation is used for the thatching it works as insulation also.
This is a very old method which we been used for roofing. In developing countries, thatch is used in nowadays because low-cost dry vegetation is used. In developed countries, they use thatch for the elevation purpose or to gives the rustic look to their house.
The serviceability of the thatching is depends on the roof shape and design, pitch of the roof, position of roof, the quality of material used for the thatching and skill of thatcher.
Thatch is a naturally water resistance if properly maintain it does not absorb the water. On roof the slope is made up to 50* so the water is not penetrate in it and quickly drain off.
Thatch is had one property is insulation. With the help of the straw the roof gives a good performance in both the cold and warm season. It also good resistant the wind damage.
Thatch is usually used for the roofing material with properties like good isolation, good water-resistant, good wind resistance.
7. Wood and Timber
- Timber is the one type of wood which is been used for the construction or carpentry purpose.
- Timber is a material which is been used from the thousand of the year.
- Wood has unique characteristics in which it builds a variety of structures.
- Wood is naturally available material.
- Wood is a good isolation material.
- Wood fabricated in all kinds of shapes and sizes.
- 30% of the total construction work timber is used.
- Timber provided good strength, toughness, durability
Application of Timber
- Door/windows frame and shutters
- Tables and railings
- Furniture of house
- On-wall as isolation material
- Construction of earthquake-proof buildings
Read More: 35 + Types Of Wood With Pictures & Use
8. Fired Brick and Clay Blocks
- Generally Fired bricks made from the fire clay and is used for the high temperature construction likes kilns, lining furnaces.
- Fired bricks are manufacture similar to the normal bricks but in a burning process fired bricks are exposed to a very high temperatures.
- Fired bricks weighs about 30 to 35 N.
- The compressive strength of 200 to 220 kg/cm2.
- Water absorption is varies from 5 to 10%
- Fires bricks have good chemical resistance properties.
Mainly there are 3 types of fired bricks:-
- Acidic fire bricks
- Basic fire bricks
- Neutral fire bricks
- The inner surface of kilns, furnaces, and chimneys.
- Fire resistance structure
- The lining of wood-fired ovens.
The cement is a fine powder material, which is been use for a binder the substance and set and harden them or bind the other adheres to other material together. It old extensively used and oldest types of building material.
Generally, cement is use to bind sand and aggregates together.
In construction the cement is used for the many purpose like:-
- Cement + sand = Mortar (used for the plastering or brick work)
- Cement + sand + aggregates = Concrete (used for slab, columns, footing, beam)
- Cement slurry (for tile works)
- Cement paste (for repairing purpose)
The good cement have following physical properties
- Setting time
- Heat of hydration
- Loss of ignition
- Bulk density
- Specific gravity
Cement is in form of powder when it mixed with water it set to a hard mass. Setting and hardening result is based on the hydration, which is chemically combination of the cement and water.
There are many types of the cement are available in the market. All the cement have their own properties and own uses. Generally for the building construction the Portland cement is used.
Following are the types of the cement
- Repaid hardening cement
- Low heat cement
- Sulphate resisting cement
- High alumina cement
- Blast furnace slag cement
- Coloured cement
- Pozzolana cement
- Air entraining cement
- Expansive cement
- White cement
- Cement concrete for the footing, beams, columns, slab, lintels etc.
- Cement mortar for brickwork and plastering.
- Cement is use for the making joints of drain and pipes.
- For watertight structures
- Cement is use for precast structures like pipes, piles.
- Cement is use for the important structure like bridges, pipe culverts, dams, tunnels.
- Cement is use for RCC roads.
Read More: Which Is Best Cement For House Construction
In civil engineering, the use of the fabric in many places, but nowadays a fabric used for a fabric structure which provides end users a variety of aesthetic free form building designs. It is recent
- Fabric structures are flame retardant, weather resistant and natural forces requirements.
- Fabric structure is a one type of a tensile structure.
In the fabric structure the fabric is used is coated and laminated with synthetic materials for increased strength, durability, and environmentally resistance.
Fabric used for the structure are following below:-
- Polyvinyl chloride
- Woven fiberglass coated with polytetrafluoroethylene.
Fabric have the following strength
- Tensile strength
- Tear strength
- Adhesion strength
- Flame retardancy
Fabric structure are used in traditional building in certain scenarios. No lighting is required because the fabric is translucent, which makes it an energy efficient solution.
For determining a material’s suitability for the structure consider the following things:-
- Shading coefficients
- General solar, optical, thermal performance data
- Acoustical data
- Awnings, tents and low tension frames structure
- Walkways and tent halls and smaller air supported structures
- Stadium domes
Now days, the synthetic polystyrene or polyurethane foam is use combination with structural materials like concrete.
- Foam is a lightweight material.
- Foam easily shaped in any form.
- Foam is a good insulator material.
- Foam is use in the house as an insulator sandwiched between the wood or cement or insulating concrete foam.
Types of Foam
1. Rigid foam
2. Spray foam
The spray foam is a chemical reaction product between the two material isocyanate and polyresin. The reaction between these two materials and they expand 30 – 60 times of its liquid volume after it sprayed in the place. Expansion of the foam is generally used in the packing material which to shape the product being packaged and produces a high thermal insulating value with virtually no air infiltration.
Following are 3 thermal properties of foam Block:-
- Conductive heat transfer
- Radiant heat transfer
- Convective heat transfer
1. Packaging application:-
- This type of foam is a good packing material which is used in shipping valuable fragile items and also for the protect the sculptures, vases, large fossils, lamp bases, busts, computer or furniture.
2. Building application:-
- Spray foam insulation or spray polyurethane foam:- it is used as an insulator material in the houses or buildings.
Glass is a product which is been made with a mixture of sand and silicates, in a very hot fire stove called a kiln and is very brittle. It is one of the widely used types of building materials.
Glass is generally used in the windows to cover the panel of the window with the ability to both let light into the room and while at the same time keeping inclement weather outside.
Glass in a now days use for architectural purposes in the building or the elevation of the modern buildings.
The curtains walls made from the glass are used to cover the entire façade of the building or also use for the span over a wide roof structure in the space frame.
The new invention of GLASS BRICK is used in a building for an elevation purpose.
Following are the types of glass which is used in construction
- Float glass
- Tinted glass
- Toughened glass
- Laminated glass
- Shatterproof glass
- Extra clean glass
- Double glazed glass
- Chromatic glass
- Glass wool
- Glass blocks
Applications of Glass in Construction
- Float glass is used as shop fronts, glass blocks, railing partitions.
- Laminated glasses are used in glass facades, bridges, staircases, floor slab, etc.
- Shatterproof glass is used in skylight, window, and in flooring.
- Extra clean glass is used for the elevation purpose.
- Double glazed glass use for an insulation purpose.
- Chromatic glass is used in meeting rooms and ICUs.
- Glass wool is used in filler or insulator in building, it is also used as a soundproof.
As a new building material gypcrete or the gypsum concrete is a mixture of gypsum plaster and fiberglass roving.
It is used as a floor underpayment.
Gypcrete is generally used in the building in a wood frame and concrete construction with properties of fire ratings, sound reduction, radiant heating, and floor leveling.
The architects and designers have suggested the gypcrete as a flooring material nowadays because it has many good properties and benefits than the other building materials.
Some benefits of the gypcrete are listed below:-
- Easy to install
- Partially fire resistant
- Rapid wall
14. Metal and Steel
Metal or steel is the second most common building material after concrete. It is one of the most useful and strong types of building materials.
There are many types of metal are present in the market. Following is the list of metals:-
- Cast iron
- Stainless steel
- Wrought iron
The in construction field the steel is a commonly used material. The primary purpose of the steel is to form a skeleton for the building or structure essentially the part of the structure that holds everything up and together.
There are many advantages of the steel-like malleability, ductility, elasticity, hardness, brittleness, conductivity.
The steel is also used as a reinforcement in the concrete.it gives the tensile strength to the component. Concrete is poor in tensile strength so the steel reinforcement is used.
There are 2 types of steel use in construction:-
- Structural steel (mild steel)
- High yielding strength Deformed steel
Structural steel is generally use in a construction of steel structure like roofing truss, sky scrapers, industrial buildings, cold storages, etc.
Hysd steel is used generally to make a bar, which is been used in structural members like beams, columns, footings, etc.
Applications of Steel In Construction
- Concrete Reinforcement
- Pipe fittings, manhole covers
- Floor and wall brackets for railings
- Circular stairs
- Door window Grills
- Ceiling frame or wall framing
- Roofing and accessories
- High strength bolts
- Cables for elevators
- Wall tiles
- Kitchen platforms
Today the use of plastic is more than the other material. Plastic is very light in weight and easies for work and maintenance. It is an important type of building material.
There are many different types of plastics are available in market they all are their own properties and own uses.
- The following are the properties of the plastic
- Chemical resistance
- Dimensional stability
- Electric insulation
- Fire resistance
- Melting point
- Thermal properties
Applications of Plastic
- Façade panels, exterior covering, carpentry
- Weather boarding
- Rolling shutters
- Wall lining
- Floor covering
- Roof covering
- Roof tightness
- Sanitary equipment
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