There are plenty of options which we can use as a construction material available in the industry. An efficient engineer should select the material as per the project requirement, such that it should be efficient in terms of structural stability, strength, and economy. There are standards available for testing and selection of construction material. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this post, I will give you an overview of different materials which is used widely in the construction industry.
Concrete is the backbone of civil engineers. It is a man-made material, so it is very much possible for us to tweak different properties of concrete mix. By changing the proportion of different materials used, we can alter the properties, and will allow us to get the desired quality. The use is not restricted to only structural applications but in the domain of transportation engineering to environmental engineering, it is widely used as the construction material. Concrete is both durable and economical and also it is exceptionally good in carrying compressive loads. As per the strength requirement, you can also follow the design mix procedures as per Indian standard codes.
To read in detail about the procedure of concrete mix design , you can go to this post “Concrete mix design procedure as per IS 10262:2009 & IS 456:2000“. I have also implemented the mix design procedure by considering a few examples M10 M20 M25 M30 M40 M50.
Benefits of concrete
- It is an economical material – a cheaper source of the material.
- Good in compression.
- With the proper addition of admixtures, we can easily change the properties of concrete – as per the demand.
- We can easily change the shape of the material, before the initial setting time.
Drawbacks of concrete
- It is bad in tension, so we use steel as reinforcement because steel is good in tension.
- It is a brittle material and thus ductility is very low.
- The weight of the structure is very large.
- It demands proper formwork, as a result of thisthe total cost of the construction.
- The scrap value is negligible, as it cannot be reused once it is demolished.
Wood is an economical choice for construction. We mostly use wood for construction as it is a natural building material. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using wood as a building material is that it is a natural resource, making it readily available and economically feasible. It is remarkably strong in relation to its weight, and it provides good insulation from the cold. Wood is highly machinable and can be fabricated into all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit practically any construction need.
Benefits of wood
- Low thermal conductivity
- Good acoustic properties
- Excellent electrical insulator
- High strength and durability
- Low maintenance
Steel is a popular construction material mainly for high-rise buildings and towers. It is strong without being extremely heavy in weight. You can play with the shape and size of steel as it is a malleable material that helps architects and engineers to reshape and improve the aesthetics of the structure. As steel is manufactured in industry, the precision, and quality of the material can easily be controlled and improved.
Benefits of steel
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Sustainable material
- Speed of construction
- Good scrap value
- Resistant against moisture
- Not susceptible to termites
- Fire resistant
These are some of the most widely used building materials. As per the requirement, the architects also go for masonry or stones as a building material.
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