In the construction industry, stability of structures is important. There should be an explicit guarantee that any material to be used for structural application should be durable, long-lasting and stable. Although there are a wide array of materials that have been used, some of the most common ones include steel, wood, concrete, and stone. It’s uncommon for these materials to be used independently, since they’re often combined for the best results for any construction project. Read on to learn more.
There are a number of different uses for steel in construction that it’s quite frankly, impossible to list them all. But for illustration purposes, the importance of this material can be clearly seen in several structures like beams, pipes, concrete columns, car park systems, cladding, wall panelling, building frameworks, trusses, roofing, and the like.
Steel is a great choice because of a number of its properties that make it ideal for construction. It’s durable, has a high tensile strength, long-lasting, affordable, and can be easily-machined into a desired shape and form.
Oftentimes, steel fabricators make modifications on this material by adding another layer or corrosion-resistant capabilities. This makes it ideal in environments where the steel may get exposed to hazards that can lower its quality and increase its internal stresses.
Wood is another popular choice for the construction industry. In fact, if you look at any building, there’s a high chance that one of its structures is made of wood. Unlike steel, wood is a naturally-fashioned material that can be processed by cutting down trees and having them cut and shaped into a desired form in a working mill. This means that the material is readily-available and may not really require any artificial manipulations such as the case you’ll find in steel and other carbon-based alloys.
Some common applications of wood include doors, window frames, tiles, decks, wall studs, beams, staircases, railings, moldings, trims, and many more. Like steel, there are also cases where wood is also coated to make sure that it can be protected for a much longer time, as long as it’s being used as a part of a structure.
This is because wood has a tendency to rot and stain easily, especially in the presence of moisture or high humidity environments. Applying a protective, water-resistant layer from time to time can easily make this material more durable.
Wooden construction materials can also come in a variety of colors, depending on the type of tree it was milled from. It can either be softwood or hardwood and sport colors like mahogany, hazelnut, redwood, chestnut, and the like.
Concrete is arguably one of the oldest and most-widely used construction materials on the planet. It’s first known use dates as far back as the 14th century, where prehistoric Middle Easterners first used this material to build simple housings and structures.
Today, concrete remains a reliable material for floors, walls, or foundations. This material has also been used in constructing a range of buildings — low-height to high-rise — bridges, railway lines, carparks, residential spaces, and the like.
It is possible for concrete to be used on its own, but it isn’t really advised. Most of the time, it’s reinforced with other materials such as reinforced steel bars. A good reason for this is that the ingredients of concrete tend to get damaged or break easily due to its brittleness.
There are also cases wherein the concrete might need to be coated with a protective resin like epoxy or polyurethane — especially when it’s used for roof decking or flooring. This is so that when the concrete is exposed to high levels of temperature and moisture, it won’t drastically expand and reduce the bonding of the material.
Stone is no stranger to both ancient and modern-day architectural marvels of our time. A great example is ancient Greek architecture, which saw a wide use of natural stone materials like marble, limestone, or schist. In present times, you’ll also be able to spot stone in many of the structures that you come across on a daily basis.
A great example would be the floors, walls, and countertop tiles that are used to improve the functionality of a given room. In houses, for example, natural granite can be seen in kitchen counter islands or even entire floor spaces. These materials give off an exquisite and luxurious vibe to a space because of their natural features and sleek looks that are hard to replicate synthetically.
Aside from the design advantage, natural stone materials are durable enough to withstand physical impacts or even corrosion. It can stay sturdy for as much as a few decades. While investing in them may be expensive in the beginning, they do provide a cost-effective option in the long run.
Some of the best building materials that are ideal for different types of construction projects include stone, wood, steel, and concrete. As you’ve learned, many of these materials offer exceptional durability to any given structure. Their timelessness has been exemplified by the extent of their application even during prehistoric periods.
If you want to make sure that you’re choosing the right building material, it’s important that you have an understanding of its composition. Learn about their pros and cons and see if they can meet your requirements on any structural or non-structural project.