When it comes to structural design, and there are several different materials that are used in construction. Common materials include steel, concrete, masonry, and wood. These materials have different strengths, weight, cost, and durability. The material used will all depend upon the structure that is being constructed. Structural design services will help their clients pick the right material depending upon what the building is going to be used for and the size of that structure.
Using Building Materials
Certain materials can be used to create structures, but the materials are subject to quality control before they are used Materials used in construction must meet current standards. A structural engineer will look at the specifications for the project, including the building materials. They will examine the standards and comply with the standards when constructing the structure.
We can divide building materials into two main categories. These include natural building materials like wood or stone. Other materials are man-made, such as steel or concrete. Before the materials can be used to construct a building, they have to go through treatment or preparation. Here is a list of materials and what you can expect when using them.
We make concrete from mixing cement. Ingredients such as stone, sand, and water go into the creation of concrete. The properties of the concrete will all depend upon ratios of the materials used in the mix of that concrete. A concrete supplier will test concrete before it’s used.
When concrete is poured it will turn into a material that feels like stone. When you pour concrete, It will take up to 7 days to reach its full strength. Concrete is monitored during this time to ensure that it is strong and that it cures properly. Structural engineering firms use concrete because it’s durable and strong. If you’re creating a foundation, for example, concrete is an excellent choice. The concrete can handle the load of the structure due to its strength. To improve the strength of concrete steel bars are often added called steel rebar. This reinforces the concrete and it’s used in bridges, multi-story buildings, roads, tunnels, and other applications.
One of the strongest materials used in construction is steel. It has a strong capacity in both compression and tension. This is because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio. It’s perfect for large industrial facilities or the structural framework of a tall building. You can get structural steel in different shapes such as I beams, angles, and C-channels. These pieces are welded together using high-strength bolts. Steel structures are sturdy and long-lasting.
A structural engineer will often use steel even if it’s relatively expensive when compared to other building materials. The engineer will choose shapes and sizes based upon the loads that the building is going to receive. This will ensure that the structure is not over design. Steel takes less time to install when compared to other materials such as You can install Steel in different environments, and this is one of the main reasons why it’s attractive.
Another material used in construction is wood. It has been used for many thousands of years. If it is properly maintained, it can last for hundreds of years. It’s economically feasible to use wood because it’s a natural resource. It’s readily available, lightweight, and it’s easy to machine. It provides great insulation from the cold. It’s often used for residential buildings in the construction of homes.
The wood pieces used in constructing wooden structures are Shawn and machine planed in two different dimensional specifications. We know these as common 2*8, 2 x 6, 2 x 4, and other sizes that you find at your regular hardware lumber yard. These larger sizes are used in the construction of frames. They are used to construct a multi-story building or a bridge. Another form of words that we use in construction is engineered wood. This is wood that has been glued together deform what type of composite material. We use this is specific construction applications. A few examples of engineered wood include fiberboard, plywood, and laminated wood.
Wood is lightweight so it’s not suitable as a construction material to support a heavy load. It’s not ideal for a long span. It’s not usually used for a basement wall or foundation. The reason for this is it has to be pressure treated because it will come in contact with moisture and soil. This process is quite expensive. When we construct a wood-frame house, the basement walls and foundations are made with reinforced concrete.
When we use masonry to construct a structure, we use mortar to bind the units together. A concrete block is one of the most common materials used in masonry construction. In some cases, to reinforce the vertical structure steel is used. Masonry is quite strong and will resist compression and stress. It makes it ideal for constructing a load-bearing wall. Some other masonry materials include glass block, stone, and brick. Masonry is fire resistant and highly durable. It is sensitive to the workmanship quality and the mortar used to make it.
Many new multi-story buildings are using masonry in construction. This is because masonry is perfect for a load-bearing wall. The structure usually has a concrete floor, and this is supported by masonry and reinforced concrete walls. How masonry is used depends upon the load of the wall and the number of floors. Masonry doesn’t accommodate larger openings in walls so concrete or steel is usually used there. It’s an economical choice if the opening sizes or the frame are reasonable and the length of the wall segments is not that short.
Multi-story buildings can be constructed by using load-bearing masonry walls that are stacked on top of each other. The first floor of masonry accumulates the weight of the floors above it. The first wall on the bottom has to be stronger than the upper support walls. The voids in the bottom of the masonry wall will be reinforced with steel bars as well as concrete grout. More steel bars will close the space of the grouted core, and this will result in a stronger masonry wall. It’s a load-bearing masonry wall that doesn’t extend to the foundation because openings are required then steel transfer beams or large concrete beams are used to support the wall above any opening.
These are the basic materials that are used in construction. there are other materials, including glass, ceramics, carbon fiber, aluminum, and other materials used. It all depends upon the project. A structural engineer can help you find the best material for your job. If you need help with certain aspects of your project to speak to a MEP design company as they can help you.