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Construction Materials

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Concrete

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Concrete is an artificial material which has an equal smooth surface and is visually similar to stone.

Advantages of the materials use

Concrete is the most practical material for building. It can be used in modular and monolithic constructions of various kinds and intentions. It gives a possibility to make a design of any form, and the process of concrete preparation can be automated. The advantage is also a rather cheap manufacturing of this material. Concrete has a number of important characteristics, such as durability, water tightness, frost resistance, durability on compression, fire resistance.

Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

The disadvantages of concrete consist of small durability on stretching. This indicator is ten times less than at pressure. Concrete defects can be discovered very often. They arise owing to using poor-quality materials, a worn-out timbering, violation of the manufacturing technology of concrete works or shortcomings of constructive decisions. However, timely detected cracks can be eliminated.  Influence of high temperatures, water, various contaminations destroys a concrete surface. Owing to negative impact of the environment, concrete loses its durability. 

Compatibility of the material

A metal basis can be used which fastens on bolts and incurs pressure during stretching. Steel armature and concrete become a single whole. It provides long and effective service. Therefore concrete together with different metal constructions underlie modern building.

The effect the material has on the environment

Manufacturing of the concrete does not influence greatly on the environment, it is quite an environmentally friendly stuff because its manufacturing does not increase CO2 emissions, provides renewable resources of energy, involves aesthetically satisfying and healthy atmosphere and minimizes expenses at the same time.

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

The concrete surface can be destroyed. Then certain measures for its protection (special construction mixes are used for this purpose) are taken. By means of it concrete becomes stronger, process of destruction of its surface stops.

Pre Cast Concrete

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Pre cast concrete is a concrete which is manufactured at the plant and is delivered only in a certain form. It is an artificial material which has an equal smooth surface.

Advantages of the materials use

The advantage of pre cast concrete is high durability, factory concrete is very dense and water-proof, resistant to erosion, durable and it allows building constructions very quickly.

It is also considerably of low cost.

Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

The main disadvantage is certain measurements of the pre cast concrete blocks which the factory offers you. The weight of the concrete blocks is very high but durability is not high enough.

Compatibility of the material

For waterproofing of pre cast concrete penetrating materials can be used.

The effect the material has on the environment

It is rather safe for the people’s health and the environment. Pre cast concrete production becomes rather high-tech and it does not cause any pollution. One main problem is dust but it can be controlled.

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

The pre cast concrete can reduce its quality because of not following all the criteria of manufacturing this material. Then there can be formed cracks and holes, but they can be eliminated.

Masonry

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Masonry is the word used to describe walls built out of masonry units laid on a mortar bed.

Masonry units are commonly called blocks (which are generally large hollow units) and bricks (which are smaller units, either solid or with small cores)

Advantages of the materials use

The advantage is that building sites do not require painting, it is heat resistant and fire protected. Bricks and stones accumulate heat insulation. They are very stable structures during tornadoes and hurricanes.

Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

Masonry building is a very hard-working job which is difficult to control, so it is not rare when one can find installation defects or bricks not laid horizontally. Frost and extreme weather can cause masonry degradation.

Compatibility of the material

Concrete masonry units shrink, so that if they are used with a mortar with high shrinkage, cracking may result. For this reason, the sand used in mortar for concrete block work should be clean sharp sand, such as clean pit sand, masonry sand or plasterer’s sand. Tests have shown that the sand can contain up to 10% fines but it should not contain any clay particles.

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The effect the material has on the environment

It is rather safe for the people’s health and the environment. Masonry material is a natural product that does not reduce such limited resources like timber, for example. So it helps to save our woods playing an enormous role in “green building” concepts

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

The main problem is water penetration. To avoid it the builder should install water drains. Masonry walls should be supported by slabs or columns.

Steel

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Steel has a smooth surface.

Advantages of the materials use

Modern steel house frames are easy to use. Steel frames are light (yet very strong) and easily handled. They are strong and flexible. It is easy to fix internal linings and external claddings to steel frames and to fit internal fixtures. Termites cannot attack steel.  

Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

It is heavy and it is not cheap to transport. It must be constantly painted.

Compatibility of the material

Steel is compatible with a variety of materials representing different alloys. The steel alloyants are nickel, vanadium, boron, chromium, manganese and others. It can also be compatible with cobalt, niobium, zinc, lead, titanium, copper, but not very often.

The effect the material has on the environment

Manufacturing steel causes much air and water pollution. It requires much energy to produce. It can cause asthma and lung diseases. That happens because of the carbon monoxide that effuses from the melt. The particulates are also generated as a result of the gas flow. Generally speaking, the more the steel is produced, the greater negative environmental affect it provides.

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

In bad weather conditions and changing temperatures steel can suffer corrosion, cracks and fatigue. It must be constantly painted.

Timber and timber products

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Timber can be of different varieties of color but it is mainly of light or dark brown.

Advantages of the materials use

Some woods, such as teak and European oak have greater natural durability than others. Timber can be used recycled. It can be quickly installed. The structural strength of timber is a measure of its ability to resist outside forces, such as compression, tension and shear.

Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

It is not fire resistant. It attracts different insects and termites. Timber is afraid of moisture.

Compatibility of the material

It is compatible with most of the materials.

The effect the material has on the environment

Cutting down woods has a negative influence on the environment. It causes decreasing of oxygen and increasing of hydrogen.

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

Timber is sure to have some problems like mold or fungus. The main reason of such problems is neglecting to maintain it regularly. And moisture should be avoided.

Glass

Description of the visual characteristics of the material

Glass is transparent and has a dense surface.

Advantages of the materials use

Glass is stable over the low and high temperature. It is very easily cleaned. It is a long life material. Glass has no problems with degradation. It is resistant to chemicals, oil, grease and others.

 Disadvantages of the materials (include the defects of the material, short and long term degradation)

The risk of breakage and subsequent injury is high if it is used incorrectly – in large panels or in places where people could come into contact with it. Glass is heavier than, for example, plastic. It is not as rough as plastic.

Compatibility of the material

It is compatible with silicon, barium, iron and other materials to increase its strength and durability.

The effect the material has on the environment

The major environmental effect of glass manufacturing is caused by air emissions from melting process. During the actual manufacturing of glass the greenhouse gas is emitted. High temperatures of melting and in some ways nitrogen compounds decomposition also result in acidification.

Describe the site problems that may occur against the material and what possible corrective measures you may need to put in place to prevent these problems.

Glass can break and cause injuries and traumas. So dealing with the glass people should follow safety techniques.

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