Construction Materials. Classification and types


Building materials and classification and construction materials Types

  • Stony materials: these are natural stones and rocks and their derivatives. The most used in construction are limestone, marble, granite, slate and aggregates (stones of different sizes).
  • Ceramics and glass: These come from clayey raw materials that are fired in a kiln at high temperatures. The most commonly used in construction are tiles, refractory bricks, sanitary ware, glass, glass wool, bricks, vaults, tiles. Glass: a mixture of silica (sand) with potash or soda and small quantities of other bases, to which different colours can be given by the addition of metallic oxides. You can see how it is done in the following link: How glass is made.
  • Agglutinating materials: when mixed with water they undergo chemical transformations. They are used to join other materials. Plaster and cement are the most used.
  • Composite materials: formed by the mixture of different materials with different properties. The most commonly used are mortar, concrete, printed concrete and asphalt mixtures. Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand and water. Concrete is a mixture of cement, stones of different sizes (aggregates) and water. On the printed concrete and asphalt mixtures you have a link at the bottom that tells you about it.
  • Metallic materials: they are obtained from metal ores. There are two types of ferrous from iron and non-ferrous. The most commonly used ferrous are steel and cast iron and the non-ferrous are copper and aluminium. Here you have a presentation about metals: Metals
  • Plastic Materials: Nowadays they are widely used in construction due to their properties and their reduced cost. They are organic materials formed by polymers (macromolecules) constituted by long chains of atoms that contain mainly carbon. These include PVC, polystyrene, melamine, polyurethane, etc.

Properties of construction materials

  • Density: In general, construction materials are of medium density.
  • Resistance to compression: stones and ceramics are very resistant to compression.
  • Tensile strength: indicates the maximum tensile strength that a material can withstand.
  • Other properties: hard, brittle, corrosion resistant, economical.


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