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Introduction to Civil Engineering

Ramachandran V

Kerala Technological University which has just come into being in 2014 has
formulated a new syllabus for the first and second semester students. One of the compulsory
subjects for them is Introduction to Civil Engineering. I was teaching the subject for the last
couple of years. Though there are a large number of text books on the subject, the students
have to refer to more than one book. It was felt that there was a need to make available all the
subject matter in one place and this prompted me to compile the book as per the syllabus of K
Tech University. Some topics like cement concrete, RCC etc which have not been included in
the K Tech University syllabus have been incorporated in this book for sake of continuity.
Attempt has been made to present the topic in a very simple and lucid language with a
large number of illustrations. In order to make clear the steps of lay out of buildings, brick
masonry (English bond and Flemish bond) few video clips have been included. At the end of
each chapter, the main points to be revised and remembered are given as Points to Ponder.
Also a good number of questions have been given at the end of each chapter for practice.
Hope that the students will be able to take full advantage of the book.
Comments/suggestions are most welcome!

Ramachandran V

(As per Kerala Technological University - 2015)

1. General Introduction to Civil Engineering
2. History of Civil Engineering
3. Relevance of Civil Engineering in the Overall development of the country
4. Type and classification of structures : Buildings, Towers, Chimneys, Bridges, Dams,
Retaining Walls, Water tanks, Silos, Roads, Railways, Runways, Pipe lines
5. Definition and type of buildings as per National Building Code of India
6. Selection of site
7. Components of buildings and their functions
8. Setting out of a building
9. Stones
10. Bricks
11. Tiles
12. Aggregates
13. Cement mortar
14. Stone masonry
15. Brick masonry
16. Timber
17. Steel
18. Floors
19. Roofs



Page No

1. General Introduction to Civil Engineering

2. History of Civil Engineering

3. Relevance of Civil Engineering in the development of the country


4. Types and classification of structures


5. Definition and Type of Buildings as per National Building Code


6. Components of a Residential Building


Building Materials
7. Stones


8. Bricks


9. Tiles


10. Cement


11. Aggregates


12. Cement Mortar


13. Cement Concrete


14. Iron & Steel


15. Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC)


16. Timber


17 Selection of site


18 Setting out of a building


19. Stone Masonry


20. Brick Masonry


21. Floors and Flooring Materials


22. Roofs and Roof coverings


1. General Introduction to Civil Engineering

Engineering is the oldest profession in the technical field and Civil Engineering is the oldest
branch of Engineering. Civil engineering deals with the planning, design, construction and
maintenance of buildings, roads, railways, airports, seaports, dams, canals, bridges, water
supply and sewerage systems. Though in olden times, there was no formal education in the
engineering field, construction of various structures like pyramids of Egypt, Taj Mahal of India,
Tower of Pisa. Italy were carried out by the local artisans with their traditional knowledge and
experience. The well designed towns of Mohanjo Daro and Harappa were built with properly
planned and designed roads and sanitary networks around 2600 BC.

It is reported that our ancestors lived in caves and tree tops. Later on they shifted to huts made
of twigs and leaves. In the modern world, it has been recognized that it is the states
responsibility to provide its citizens the basic amenities like food, shelter (house) and clothing.
Civil Engineering has many branches like Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering,
Transportation Engineering, Water resources Engineering, Environmental Engineering,
Earthquake Engineering etc.
Geotechnical Engineering: This subject deals with soils, rock and foundations of all structures
like buildings, roads, railways, dams, tunnels etc. Before starting any work, soil samples are
required to be collected from the field, brought to the laboratory and tested to find out the
properties of the soils. The foundations are then designed taking into account the load of the
Structural Engineering: This discipline deals with the design of different structures. The structure
should be safe and should be able to give the service for which it was intended. The load acting
on the structure has to be identified and the stresses are to be calculated. The design should be
economical also. The loads are dead load, live load, wind load and seismic load.
Transportation Engineering: Transportation engineering deals with the construction and
maintenance of roads, railways, airways, seaways. For the transportation of men and material a
good transportation net work is very essential. This forms one of the essential requirement of
the infrastructure development of the country. As far as the roads are connected they connect
small villages to the major cities and industrial towns and railways help in trans[porting
passengers and goods in large quantities more effectively..
Environmental Engineering: This deals with water supply and sanitary engineering. Water is an
essential item for drinking, irrigation, sanitation, hydropower generation etc. The waste

accumulated both in solid and liquid form has to be collected, treated and disposed off so that
the environment is neat and clean. The atmosphere is now a days polluted due to large scale
vehicles on the road, major industries and over population. Necessary steps are to be taken to
reduce the effect of pollution.
Water Resources Engineering: This discipline of civil engineering deals with the management
of quantity and quality of water in the underground and above ground water resources, like
rivers, lakes ponds and streams. The availability of water from these sources are to be analysed
and actual use planned accordingly. Water as told earlier is required for irrigation, industries,
drinking and transportation.
Earth Quake Engineering: Earth quakes are certain tremors from the inside of earth which may
create the destruction and loss of property and people.. Of course the loss depends on the
intensity of earth quake. As such a civil engineer has to design a structure taking into account
this seismic load. This will depend upon the actual location of the place. India has been divided
into different zones according to the likely severity of the quake. It is not able to predict in
advance when and where the quake may happen. The main objectives of earthquake engineering
are: *Foresee the potential consequences of strong earthquakes on civil structures
*Design, construct and maintain structures to reduce the after effects of earthquakes
Construction Engineering: This branch of civil engineering deals with the construction of various
structures like buildings, dams, water supply schemes, roads, railways, air ports, sea ports etc.
First detailed engineering survey has to be made. Then design the structure and carry out the
construction. Proper quality control has to be made by the site engineer so that the structure will
be safe and also it should be economical. The work should be completed within the target dates
as to avoid cost escalation. So many software packages are available now a days for design,
drawing and project planning.
Hydraulic engineering: This branch of civil engineering deals with the flow and conveyance
of fluids, mainly water and sewage. The knowledge on this subject is required for the design
of bridges, dams, channels, canals, water supply and sanitary engineering. Hydraulic engineering is
the application of fluid mechanics principles to problems dealing with the collection, storage, control,
transport of water and sewage. The hydraulic engineer has to study the effect of scour on bridges
and other structures.

Surveying: Before starting a new project a survey has to be made with respect to its alignment,
level, feature on the way and surroundings. The project can be a road, railway, airport, dam or
other structure..
Surveying is the art of determining the relative position of points on the surface of earth with
respect to its direction, magnitude and level. There are different surveys depending on the type
of instruments used, purpose of survey etc. The main instruments in this connection are chain,
leveling instrument, theodolite, tachometer, total station etc. After the survey, plans are to be

2. History of Civil Engineering

It is very difficult to specify the history of the beginning of civil engineering. Our ancestors ate
fruits, drank water from streams and slept in caves or on top of trees. Then they felt the need of
a house for protection from rain and other atmospheric effects. They cut the trees and using the
logs constructed small huts. The construction of Pyramids in Egypt (2700 - 2500 BC) is
considered to be the first major civil construction. Ancient historic civil engineering
constructions include the Great Wall of China (312 BC), Irrigation projects in China (around
220 BC); Julius Caesar's Bridge over the Rhine River( 55 BC), Taj Mahal (Agra), Red Fort
(Delhi), Golden Temple (Amritsar), Hawa Mahal (Jaipur), Ellora Caves( Nasik), Guruvayoor
Srikrishna Temple (Kerala), Maha Budha Temple (Gaya), Malankara Orthodox Church (Kerala)
in India.

Great wall of China (312 BC)

Pyramids of Egypt (2700-2500 BC)

Tajmahal of india (1632)

In the earliest period, the construction of structures were done using mud, stone and lime
mortar. Though there was no formal education, they could design and construct such
magnificent structure which are still in existence without any serious deterioration.

One of the most essential requirements of human beings is food. For raising food crops,
irrigation is required.
History of Irrigation Development in World
Archaeological investigation has identified evidence of irrigation in Mesopotamia and Egypt as
far back as the 6th millennium BCE, where barley was grown in areas where the natural rainfall
was insufficient to support such a crop. In the 'Zana' Valley of the Andes Mountains in Peru,
archaeologists found remains of three irrigation canals dated from the 4th millennium BCE, the
3rd millennium BCE and the 9th century CE. These canals are the earliest record of irrigation in
the New World. The Indus Valley Civilization in Pakistan and North India (from 2600 BCE) also
had an early canal irrigation system. Large scale agriculture was practiced and an extensive
network of canals was used for the purpose of irrigation.

Drawing water from well using bullocks

Engineering Education
The first engineering school, The National School of Bridges and Highways, France, was
opened in 1747. In 1818, worlds first engineering society, the Institution of Civil Engineers was
founded in London. The institution received a Royal Charter in 1828, formally recognizing civil
engineering as a profession. Its charter defined civil engineering as: Civil engineering is the
application of physical and scientific principles, and its history is intricately linked to advances in
understanding of physics and mathematics throughout history. Because civil engineering is a
wide ranging profession, including several separate specialized sub-disciplines, its history is
linked to knowledge of structures, material science, geography, geology, soil, hydrology,
environment, mechanics and other fields.
The first private college to teach Civil Engineering in the United States was Norwich University
founded in 1819. The first degree in Civil Engineering in the United States was awarded by
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1835. In India, engineering education started with the
opening of School of Survey in 1794, which became the Civil Engineering School in 1858 and was
rechristened as College of Engineering in 1859 in Chennai (Madras). The Thomason College of Civil
Engineering, Roorkee,(Uttar Pradesh) was started in 1847.whicht was given university status in
1949 and was converted to Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in 2001.


3. Relevance of Civil Engineering in the Infrastructure Development

of the Country

Civil Engineers have a major role to play in the development of a nation as they have to make
the necessary infrastructure in terms of buildings, transportation net work, dams, irrigation
canals, power generating stations etc. Infrastructure can be defined as the physical and
organizational structures and facilities like buildings, roads etc. needed for the operation of a
society. They are required for the economic development of the country.
Civil Engineering has got various branches like Geotechnical Engineering, Structural
Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Surveying - each
discipline dealing with a particular aspect. In general, the functions of a Civil Engineer are
Planning, Design, Construction and Maintenance of different Civil Engineering structures.
The infrastructure requirements can be broadly grouped under the following categories:
Buildings, Roads, Railways, Bridges, Airports, Dams and Canals, Electric Power Stations,
Factories, Industrial Town ships

Buildings are required for dwelling, schools, industries, offices, hospitals, factories etc.


Bridges are required for crossing rivers and other obstacles for both rail and road network.

Food is an essential item for all - rich and poor. Agricultural fields are to be raised and
maintained properly.

For raising food production irrigation is to be effective. For this dams are required. The stored
water can be used for drinking and hydroelectric power in addition to irrigation.

For transporting men and material from one end of the country to the other end railways are a


For linking villages to towns, cities and industrial towns roads are required

For faster and quicker transport of passengers and goods air transport is the only solution.

Electric power is required for almost are operations domestic, commercial or industrial
purposes. The power is generated though hydro electric, thermal or nuclear power stations.

One of the parameter to measure the progress of a country is its industrial production. This
can be the in the small scale sector or large scale sector.
Conventional building materials like stone, brick, timber etc are still in vogue, but two materials
which have completely revolutionized the construction industry are cement and steel. From a

small one room house to a multi- storey buildings, dams, power houses, air ports, rail sleepers,
concrete roads, tunnels, bridges etc all are being constructed with concrete and steel.
Computers are now extensively used for design, drawing and planning of various civil
engineering works. Also micro controllers are being used in various machineries used in
construction activities. In the present day world going green is on top priority in our society.
Reusing materials from existing sites is an upcoming trend in the new environment.
Engineers play a very critical role in planning, developing, building and maintaining nations
infrastructure. Ultimately, the engineering profession uses its expertise, experience and
knowledge help to create a safer, more sustainable, and prosperous future for the country.
Engineers balance social, environmental and economic considerations to find the best solutions
to complex challenges. They have a responsibility to manage the risks associated with their
work, and the impacts on the public and on the environment.
The progress made by the nation in the successive five year plans is an eye-opener. The
progress can be seen in all spectrum - Irrigation, Agriculture, Hydro electric power, Roads,
Railways, Air ports, Sea ports, Techno / I T parks, Communication network, Cement, Steel and
other heavy and light Industries.
Some recent remarkable infrastructure developments in India
For any country, its infrastructure is a matter of pride. During the last few years phenomenal
change has taken place in sectors like buildings, roads, railways, airports etc leading to world
class facilities in various parts of the country. Few such projects are briefly described here.
1. Mumbais Eastern Freeway Indias second largest Fly over - More than 25000
vehicles are expected to take the freeway daily. The 17 km freeway is divided in three
parts- 9.29 km elevated road, 4.3 km road-tunnel, and an elevated 2.5 km fly over.

2. Udhampur-Katra rail link (Kashmir) The work on this line is complete. Pilgrims to
Vaishnodevi temple can travel directly to the base camp at Katra. Constructed at an
estimated cost of Rs 1050 crores, the route consists of seven tunnels, 30 small and big


3. Indores BRTS road route- Built at a cost of Rs135 crores, the BRTS consists of
physically separated bus lanes and metro like stations.

4. Double decker train from Chennai to Banglore The fully air- conditioned train started its
run on April 25, 2013.

5. Indias first solar park at Caranka village in Gujarath This is countrys first solar park.
Spread across 5000 acres it has 500 MW of generation capacity of both solar and wind

6. Yamuna Expressway (Greater Noida to Agra) The 165 km long Yamuna Expressway
is the longest access controlled six-lane rigid pavements in India.


7. Indias longest rail tunnel The 11 km tunnel across PirPanjal mountain range on the
Bani hal Quazigund railway line in Jammu Kashmir.

8. Lulu Mall. Kochi Constructed at a cost of Rs1600 crores at Edappally, Cochi in 25 lakh
square feet complex

9. Indias Life line Express (Worlds first hospital train)- Established in 1991, this train has
travelled the length and breadth of the country bringing the medical aid to the most farflung inaccessible areas.


4. Types and Classification of Structures

There are different types of structures like buildings, roads, railways, air ports, towers etc. A
brief description of these structures is given below:

A building is a man-made structure with proper foundation, wall, roof and other building services. It
may be of mud, stone or cement blocks. The building may be for various purposes residential,
commercial, industrial, educational, religious..It may be of various sizes and shapes National
Building Code of India (2005) defines a building as a structure for any purpose built of any material.
The building may be of single storey or multi-storey structure.
In the last few years the cost of construction has sky rocketed due to the rise in the cost of building
materials as well the increased labour cost. The cost of land has also gone up considerably. Earlier
the practice was to construct single storey or two storey buildings. But the trend has completely
changed due to the paucity and high cost of land and the increased demand for houses. The old
system of combined family has disappeared and the trend is for miniature families. So now
multistory residential complexes are being constructed. One factor which has to be taken into
connection in this regard

is the Floor Area Index (FAI).

FAI = Covered area of all floors X 100

Plot Area
Along with residential buildings. more buildings are required for industries, government offices,
private business establishments, educational institutions etc. One important factor is the
economy of construction. The space has to be effectively utilized. Green buildings are the
requirement of the day. Modern construction techniques and selection of good building
materials also will affect in reducing the cost of construction.
A tower is a tall structure. There are different towers like clock tower, transmission tower, bell tower,
radio tower, communication tower etc. They are not intended for living .but for specific purposes


Eiffel Tower
Electricity transmission tower- for distribution of electric power
Communication tower- for transmission of communication signals like microwave
Radio tower - for transmission of radio signals
Bell tower for hanging bells in churches
Tourist tower As a tourist attraction for the tourists to see (Eiffel tower in Paris, Leaning tower of
Pisa, Italy etc)

The towers are normally constructed with steel sections like angle, I section, Channel, square
section etc and are connected at the junctions through welding or bolt and nut.


A chimney (flue) is a structure intended for the passing off smoke, hot flue gases

from furnace or fireplace to the outside atmosphere. Chimneys are kept in vertical position so that
the gases pass smoothly. Chimneys can be found in buildings, steam locomotives, ships, brick
kilns, factories etc.. Since in factories the pollutant gases are passed out through tall towers, the
surrounding area is not polluted. In addition, the dispersion of pollutants at higher altitudes can
reduce their impact on the immediate surroundings.
The cross section of a chimney may be square, rectangular or circular with smooth finish inside. The
height of the chimney stack should be at least one meter above the roof level. In big factories, tall
chimneys are provided to pass the exhaust gases and smoke at a higher level. The following points
must be kept in mind while constructing a tall chimney-


-Refractory brick lining should be provided inside a chimney when the temperature is expected to
exceed 750 degree centigrade.
-The total height of the chimney shaft should not exceed 12 times the external diameter at the base
or 10 times the least lateral dimension at the base for chimneys of rectangular section. The general
practice is to construct the chimneys in lime mortar than cement mortar because cement mortar is
likely to disintegrate at high temperature.
- Wind pressure must be taken into account when designing a chimney.


A bridge is a structure built to cross an obstacle. The obstacle may be a river, railway line, road
or canal.
Bridges are classified in different ways according to:
Material of construction - Timber, Masonry, Steel, RCC, PSC.
Purpose (Function) - Railway bridge, Road bridge, Pedestrian bridge, Aqueduct (bridge over a
valley), Viaduct (canal over a river)
Position - Deck bridge, Through bridge, Semi through bridge
Superstructure - Slab bridge, Truss bridge, Suspension bridge, Cable stayed bridge
Length - Culvert (less than 6 m, Minor bridge (6 to 60 m), Major bridge (above 60 m)
Method of connection of different parts- Rivet, weld, Pin
Position - Straight, Skew
Selection of site
The following points are to be considered in selecting the site of the bridge
The site should be easily approachable, Width of the river should be minimum, Firm and stable
banks, Suitable foundation, Right angled crossing
The components of a bridge are Abutments, Pier, Deck Slab, Hand- rail, Beam, Bearings,
Approaches, Parapet

Dams are structures constructed across rivers to store water. The water may be used for
drinking, irrigation or hydro electric power generation.

There are different types of dams

Based on functionStorage dam This is constructed to store water. The stored water may be used for irrigation,
drinking or hydro electric power generation.
Flood control dam This is temporarily constructed to store the flood water and release it slowly
so that the down- stream side is safeguarded against the damaging effects of floods.
Diversion dam - This is constructed to divert the water from the river to a channel.
Coffer dam A temporary structure constructed to divert water so that the new dam or bridge
can be constructed.
Based on material of construction
Earthen dam , Masonry dam , Concrete dam


Retaining Walls

Retaining walls are walls made of concrete or masonry to retain soil. Generally they are
constructed on the approaches to bridges, for making gardens in sloping grounds and to
protect soil from erosion etc. To design a retaining wall, it is required to find out the pressure
exerted by the soil on the retaining wall. This can be found out by using Rankins theory or
Coulombs theory. The pressure depends on the unit weight of soil, angle of internal friction,
cohesive strength of soil and height of the wall. There is a tendency for the retained material to
move down the slope due to gravity. This creates lateral earth pressure behind the wall which is
termed as active earth pressure. If the retaining wall yields towards the retained soil. the wall is
subjected to passive earth pressure. If there is no movement, the earth pressure is called earth
pressure at rest.

Water tanks

A water tank is a container to store and distribute water. The water may be used for drinking
,irrigation or fire suppression. It can be at the ground level or on an elevated stage. They may
be of steel, concrete or plastics and of circular or rectangular in shape. Now a days for rain
water harvesting also tanks are being used. Rainwater tank (sometimes called a rain barrel ) is
a water tank used to collect and store rain water runoff from roof tops via rain gutters. A rainwater
catchment or collection (also known as "rainwater harvesting") system can yield 2358 litres of water
from 2.54 cm of rain on a 93 m2 roof area. Rainwater tanks are devices for collecting and
maintaining harvested rain. These tanks are installed to use rain water for later use. and aid selfsufficiency. Stored water may be used for watering gardens, agriculture, flushing toilets, in washing
machines, washing cars, and also for drinking, especially when other water supplies are unavailable.


Underground rainwater tanks can also be used for retention of storm water for release at a later


Silo is a structure, typically cylindrical in shape in which grain, cement or other materials are stored.
There are different types of silos such as the low-level mobile silo and the static upright silo. Mobile
silos are normally of capacities from 10 to 75 tons. They are simple to transport and are easy to be
set up on site. These mobile silos generally come equipped with an electronic weighing system with
digital display and printer. This allows any quantity of cement or powder discharged from the silo to
be controlled and also provides an accurate indication of what remains inside the silo. The static
upright silos (Tower silos) have capacities from 20 to 80 tons. They are also cylindrical in shape, 4
to 30 m in diameter and 10 to 84 m in height. The stored materials are unloaded into wagons, trucks
or conveyors. Silos can be of steel or concrete. The main differences between concrete and steel
silos are:

All steel silo parts are manufactured in a factory, so the quality can be totally controlled,
whereas cast in place concrete silos involve more variables such as delivery of concrete and

The slip frame concrete process is slightly complicated. Also, field supervision plays a really
important role in concrete silos: More workers have to be employed and also it takes more time
for construction. Ultimately the cost of construction shoots up.
Concrete silos can be taller than steel silos.
It is easier to erect steel silos and also to install accessories like doors, ladders, samplers, etc.
Steel structure is more flexible, so steel silos have better behavior in case of earthquake.
Regarding air tightness, both structures are normally airtight if the openings are properly sealed.
Steel silos generally give more storage capacity.. They tend to be more cost-effective because
of the higher storage capacity.

It is easier and more effective to do aeration in steel silos.



Roads are for the transport of men and material from one part of the country to another part. In
India, roads are classified under the following categories - National High way, State Highway,
Major District Road, Other District Road and Village Road. There is now a new classification as
Express Way.
The road structure has the following components Sub grade, Sub base, Base, Base Coat and
Wearing Coat.

Typical X section of a flexible pavement

Before upgrading and widening an existing highway, a traffic survey is to be conducted to collect
information about the traffic density, direction of movement of vehicles, origin destination of
vehicles, type of vehicles, type of soil, geographic details including anticipated future
AS far as the geometry of roads are concerned, on curves the outer portion is slightly rais with
respect to the inner side. This is known as cant (super elevation). This is provided to counteract
the centrifugal force of the vehicle. This will depend on the degree of curvature and speed of
vehicle. Also to drain out rain water, side slopes are to be given to the wearing surface.



A runway is a rectangular area of land in an airport prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft.
Runways may be a man-made surface (asphalt, concrete, or a mixture of both) or a natural surface.
It is generally paved. Shoulders are provided on either side of a run way. They act as safety zones
should an airport move out of the runway during take off or landing. Stop ways are provided at the
ends of a run way to accommodate an aircraft that overshoots or undershoots a run way during
landing or an aborted take-off.
Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, which is generally the magnetic azimuth of
the runway's heading in deca degrees: A runway numbered 09 points east (90), runway 18 is south
(180), runway 27 points west (270) and runway 36 points to the north (360 rather than 0).
Air ports are of two types: Civil airports, Military airports
The selection of a site for an airport depends on Economic factors, Commercial factors,
Meteorological factors, Physical and Engineering factors.

Typical Layout of Air port


The capacity of an airport is defined as the number of aircraft operations during a specified
interval of time corresponding to a tolerable level of delay. The factors that affect the capacity of
an airport are:
-The number of runways and whether they are used for both arrivals and take-offs or separately
for arrivals and take-offs.
- Orientation and configuration of runways
-The taxiway
-The efficiency of traffic control facilities
-Weather conditions
A single runway used both for arrival and departure can have an annual capacity of 170,000 to
215,000 air craft operations.
In an emergency, military aircrafts may land on Express Highways. Recently this facility was
tested by landing and taking off a military aircraft on Delhi Agra Express Highway.


Railways are the life lines of a nation. For transporting men and material railway net work is
very essential. It was in 1853 that the first train started its maiden journey from Bombay to
Thana a distance of 15 Kms. Now Indian railways have got 65000 route Kms of track, carrying
about 23 million passengers per day by 19000 trains connecting about 8000 stations.. It also
runs about 7,000 freight trains carrying about 3 million tonnes of freight every day. It is the
largest Government department and is the only department which has got a separate annual
Trains run over two rails which are kept at a specific distance .on a transverse member called
sleeper. The distance between the two rails is called gauge which is 1676 mm for Broad gauge
and 1000 mm for Metre gauge track. Below the rails, there is a layer of broken stones (ballast)
of about 20 cm. Previously the sleepers were of wood, steel or cast iron. But now concrete
sleepers are being used. Similarly earlier the trains were hauled by steam locomotives but now
the same are hauled by diesel or electric locomotives.

The railway is administered by the Railway Board composed of Chairman and four other
Members. The whole rail network is divided into different zones which are headed by a General
Manager. The zone is further subdivided to Divisions. and Sub divisions.
For design, development and standardization of railways there is a separate organization under
the Ministry of Railways called Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) based at

Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. As per statistics of 2014, total of
about 3.5 million km of pipeline is there in 120 countries of the world. The United States has 65%,
Russia 8%, and Canada 3%, thus 75% of all pipe line is in these three countries
Liquids and gases are transported through pipelines. Pipelines exist for the transport of crude and
refined petroleum, fuels - such as oil, natural gas and bio fuels - and other fluids
including sewage, slurry and water. Pipelines are useful for transporting water
for drinking or irrigation over long distances. Pneumatic tubes using compressed air can be used to
transport solid capsules.
Oil pipelines are made from steel or plastic tubes which are usually buried underground. The oil is
moved through the pipelines by pumping from stations along the pipeline. Natural gas (and similar
gaseous fuels) are lightly pressurised into liquids known as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Natural gas
pipelines are constructed of carbon steel. Highly toxic ammonia is theoretically the most dangerous
substance to be transported through long-distance pipelines. Hydrogen pipeline transport is the
transportation of hydrogen through a pipe.
Pipelines conveying flammable or explosive material, such as natural gas or oil, pose special safety
concerns and there have been various accidents. Pipelines can be the target
of vandalism, sabotage, or even terrorist attacks. In war, pipelines are often the target of military
Advantages of transport through pipes:

Large-scale transportation of natural gas by tanker truck or rail is not feasible

Pipelines are a safe and efficient means of transporting large quantities of crude oil and natural
gas over land.
Pipelines are more cost-effective than the alternative transportation options

They require significantly less energy to operate than operating trucks or rail and have a much
lower carbon footprint
Underground pipelines are safe

Points To Ponder

A building is a structure with foundation, walls and roof covering.

It is used for dwelling, office, factory, business establishment and other purposes.
The size and shape of the building depend on the purpose of the same.
Even though there was no formal education, artisans in olden days were able to
construct buildings using locally available materials.
Some of the structures constructed long back and are still in existence are The Great
Wall of China, Pyramids of Egypt, Leaning tower of Pisa, Tajmahal at Agra, Redfort at
Delhi etc.
In addition to buildings, there are many other structural elements which are in use like
Chimneys, Towers, Water tanks, Roads, Railways, Airports, Pipe lines etc.
Civil engineers have a major role to play in the infrastructure development of the country.
For a nations development houses, factories, roads, railways, airports, dams, power
generating stations etc are required.
It is the duty of Civil Engineers to plan, design, construct and maintain these structures.

Model Questions
1.Biefly describe the history of Civil Engineering.
2 What is a building?
3. What is the purpose of a building?
4. What is the role of a civil engineer in the nation building?
5. Briefly explain the following items Water tanks, Chimneys, Retaining Walls, Silos, Runways,
Dams, Towers
6.Explin some of the recent systems in operation as part of Indias infrastructure development.


5. Definition and Types of Buildings as per National Building

Code of India
The National Building Code of India (NBC) is a comprehensive building Code. It is a national
instrument providing guidelines for regulating the building construction activities across the
country. It serves as a Model Code for adoption by all agencies involved in building construction
works - the Public Works Departments, other government construction departments, local
bodies or private construction agencies. The Code mainly contains administrative regulations,
development control rules and general building requirements; stipulations regarding materials,
structural design and construction (including safety); and building and plumbing services.
Buildings may be classified according to various parameters like occupancy, load transfer,
materials used and fire resistance. The National Building Code of India (Part iii 2005) classifies
buildings as per occupancy in the following nine groups:
Classification of buildings as per occupancyGroup A Residential
Group B - Educational
Group C - Institutional
Group D - Assembly
Group E - Business
Group F - Mercantile
Group G - Industrial
Group H - Storage
Group I Hazardous
Group A Residential Buildings These are the buildings in which sleeping accommodation is
provided for normal residential purposes with or without cooking or dining or both facilities
except any building classified under Group C. Group A buildings are further classified as A1 to
A1 Lodging Houses - These are buildings in which under the same management , separate
sleeping accommodation for a total of not more than 40 persons on transient or permanent
basis with or without dining facilities but without cooking facilities for individuals is provided.
A2 One or two private dwelling houses These are occupied by members of a single family
and have a total sleeping accommodation for not more than 20 persons.


A3 Dormitories These are buildings in which group sleeping accommodation is provided

with or without dining facilities for persons who are not members of the same family in a room or
a series of closely associated rooms under joint occupancy and single management. Examples
hostels, military barracks
A4 Apartment houses (Flats) These are buildings under single management in which living
quarters are provided for three or more families.
A5- Hotels These are buildings under single management in which sleeping accommodation is
provided for hire to more than fifteen persons.
Group B: Educational Buildings
The buildings used for schools, colleges, or other training institutions that involve assembly
during the day for instruction, education are considered educational buildings.
Sub divisions
B1 Schools up to senior secondary level with not less than 20 students.
B2 All other training schools with less than 100 students
Group C: Institutional Buildings
A building or part of a building that is used for the purposes such as medical or other treatment
or care of persons suffering from physical or mental illness, disease or infirmity; care of infants,
or aged persons in which the liberty of inmates is restricted are categorized as institutional
buildings. They normally provide sleeping accommodation for the occupant. They are further
sub - divided as:
A6 - Hotels (starred)
C1- Hospitals and sanatoria
C2 Custodial Institution
C3- Penal and mental institutions
Group D: Assembly Buildings
These shall include any building or part there of where a group of not less than 50 people gather
for amusement, recreation, social, religious and for similar purposes. Ex- Cinema halls,
theatres, exhibition halls, museums, restaurants etc. These buildings are further sub divided
D-1: Buildings having stages and fixed seats more than 1000.
D-2: Buildings having stages and fixed seats less than 1000


D-3: Buildings without stages and accommodation for 300 or more persons but no permanent
seating arrangements
D-4: Buildings without stages and accommodation for less than 300 persons.
D-5: All other structures for assembly of people not covered by sub divisions D-1 to D-4. ExCircus tents
D-6: Buildings having mixed occupancy providing facilities such as shopping, restaurants etc.
D-7: All other buildings for assembly of people not covered under D-1 to D-6
Group E: Business Buildings
This group includes any building or part of a building that is used as a shop, store either whole
sale or retail. These are sub divided into
E1 E5: Mercantile Buildings
F1: Shops, stores markets area upto 50sq m
F2: Underground shopping centres, departmental stores with area more than 500 sq m
Group G: Industrial Buildings
These include buildings or part thereof in which materials of all kinds are manufactured or
G1- Buildings used for low-hazard Industries: These are buildings where danger to life and
property may arise from panic or fire from external sources only.
G2- Buildings used for moderate-hazard Industries: The processes in the industries are liable to
give rise to a fire that will burn with moderate rapidity.
G3- Buildings used for high-hazard Industries; The processes in the industries are liable to give
rise to a fire that will burn with extreme rapidity.
Group H: Storage Buildings
These are buildings used for the storage of goods, vehicles or animals.
Group J: Hazardous Buildings
These are buildings used for storage, handling, manufacturing of highly explosive materials or
products which are liable to burn with extreme rapidity producing poisonous gases or


Classification of buildings according to the type of construction:

Classification according to method of load transfer
Types of structures:
Load-bearing structure: The load of roof and floors is transferred to the foundation by thick
Framed structure: The load of roof and floors is transferred to the foundation through columns
and footings. Walls serve as partitions only.
Comparison of load bearing and framed structure:
Load bearing structure
*Load from roof and floors are transferred to

Framed structure
*Transferred through columns and footings

foundation by walls
*Walls need foundation throughout

*Footings are required for columns only

*Thickness of load bearing walls should be

*Only exterior walls need 200 mm thick,

at least 200mm
*Too many openings for doors, windows and

others need 100 mm thick only

* No restriction

ventilators are not permitted

*Suited for residential purpose - one or two

*Suitable for multi storey buildings

storey only
Classification of buildings according to the materials used
RCC structure, Steel Structure, Composite Structure:
Classification of buildings according to fire resistance
There are four categories in this regard: Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 and Type 4 construction.


Points To Ponder

National building code of classifies buildings into different categories.

The two categories are buildings based on occupancy and buildings based on type of
Based on occupancy buildings are further classified into 9 groups A to I
These nine groups are Residential, Educational, Institutional, Assembly, Business,
Mercantile, Industrial, Storage, Hazardous
According to the type of construction buildings are classified into Method of load
transfer, According to the material used, According to the fire resistance

Model Questions
1. What s National Building Code?
2.What are the parameters of classification of buildings?
3.Based on occupancy what are the classifications?
4.What are the classifications of buildings according to type of construction?
5.What are the classifications of buildings according to method of load transfer?
6.What are the classifications of buildings according to material used?
7.What are the classifications of buildings according to fire resistance?


6. Components of a Building and their functions

Buildings are of different types - residential, commercial, public utility, educational, recreational
etc. The type, size, nature of construction etc of the buildings may vary. Before starting the
construction of the structure, a plan of the building has to be prepared. Then the approval of
local authority Panchayat, Municipality or Corporation has to be obtained. The plan of a
building has to be prepared in consonance with the building bye-laws of the state.
Components of a building
The basic components of a building are: Foundation, Plinth, Column, Wall, Lintel, Door,
Window, Floor, Stair, Roof
Foundation: The foundation is the lowermost part of a building. It is below the ground level. The
purpose of a foundation is to distribute the load of the superstructure to the soil below, give
stability to the building and to prevent the overturning of the building.

Plinth: It is the portion of a building between the ground level and the ground floor level. A
damp proof course is provided at the top of the plinth.
Column: These are vertical members which transfer the load from top to the bottom member.
The column can be of timber, steel or concrete. It may be of circular, rectangular or square
Wall: The wall is also constructed to transfer the load from top to the bottom member. It has got
the further function of giving protection to the inhabitants from rain, wind etc. and also
privacy.Walls partition the building into different rooms / compartments.


Lintel: It is a small beam provided over window and door openings to transfer the load from
above. It can be of wood, steel or RCC. The width of lintel will be that of the wall.
Door and Window: A door is provided to get access to the room and also to lock it for safety.
Window is provided in the exterior wall to have light and air circulation. The window area should
be 15-20 % of the floor area.
Floor: The number of floors depend on the height of the building. The lowermost floor is the
ground floor. It is prepared by filling the basement with soil and then compacting it. The top is
made by marble, tile or stone. The upper floors are generally of RCC. The thickness of slab wil
depend upon the span and the load it is subjected to.
Stair: Stair is constructed to go from one floor to the other. It will have a number of steps. A
landing is normally provided in between the floors.
Roof: It is the topmost part of a building. It serves as a cover for protection from rain, wind and
sun rays. The roof can be flat or sloping. It should be leak proof and should give a good look to
the building.
Building Services: The essential building services are: water supply, sanitary fittings and
connections, electric connection, rain water drainage system, cup boards, shelves etc.
The details of each component of a building are being described here in :

Foundation is the lowest part of a structure. It is below the ground level. The purpose of the
foundation is to transmit the load of the superstructure to the soil below so that the structure is
safe. The engineer has to study the properties of the soil and design the foundation accordingly.
It should be ensured that the foundation can safely carry the loads.
Requirements of Foundation:
-The pressure exerted on the soil should not exceed the safe bearing capacity of the soil.
-Settlement of the foundation should be with in safe limit.
-The foundation should be rigid.


Types of Foundations
1. Shallow foundation 2.Deep Foundation
A foundation is said to be shallow if its depth is less than or equal to its width. Shallow
foundations are also called spread footings or open footings. The 'open' refers to the fact that
the foundations are made by first excavating all the earth till the bottom of the footing, and then
constructing the footing.
There are several kinds of shallow footings: Spread footing, individual footing, combined footing
, raft foundation etc.
Wall footing (Spread footing): The width of the foundation is gradually increased through
steps. Trenches are made to the required depth and width. Then a leveling layer of concrete is
spread Over that the foundations are constructed in masonry.

Column footing: Columns normally carry heavier loads. Therefore they require footings which
can distribute loads to larger areas. The footings of this type are:
Isolated column footing
Combined footing
Cantilever or strap footing
Continuous footing
Raft or mat footing
Isolated column footing: This footing is adopted for independent column. The size of the
footing will depend on the load on the column and the type of underlying soil.


Combined Footing: This is a common footing for two columns. This footing can be rectangular
or trapezoidal in shape. This type of footing is adopted when one column is very near the
boundary of a plot where there is not sufficient space for the footing.

Cantilever (strap footing)

This type of combined footing is adopted when the distance between the columns is quite large
.A strap beam is provided connecting the slabs under each column.


Continuous (Strip) Footing: This type of footing is adopted when more than two columns are
to be constructed in one line very close to each other..

Raft Foundation

This is also known as mat foundation. In some cases the individual columns may be heavily
loaded or the safe bearing capacity of the soil may be low. In that case, the column footings
may overlap each other. Raft foundation is adopted in such situations.


Grillage foundation: In some buildings, steel columns embedded in concrete are to be

constructed. The columns may have to carry heavy loads. In such situations, grillage
foundation is adopted. It consists of one or more tiers of steel beams inside concrete. A base
plate will be provided at the base of the column.

Deep Foundations
1..Pile foundation 2. Pier foundation
Pile foundation: A pile is a slender column of wood, steel or concrete. It is driven into the
ground or cast in a bore hole.
Classification of Piles according to the load transfer: Friction Piles

Bearing Piles

Friction piles transfer the load through friction between the pile and soil. The length of the pile
will depend on the frictional resistance.
Bearing piles transfer the load through bearing on a hard strata. For this hard strata should be
available at a reasonable depth.
Classification of piles according to the material used: Timber piles, Steel piles, Concrete piles
Bearing Capacity of Soil: It is defined as the maximum load per unit area which a soil can
withstand without yielding. First the maximum bearing capacity of the soil has to be determined.
There are different methods of determining the bearing capacity. The safe bearing capacity is
then calculated by dividing the maximum bearing capacity by a factor of safety which is usually
taken as 2 or 3.


Determination of bearing capacity of soil

1. Field Tests 2. Laboratory tests
1. Field Tests
Plate load test
The arrangement for plate load test is given in the figure below.
Plate load test
The arrangement for plate load test is given in the figure below.

Plate load test arrangement

For this test, first a pit is made at the desired depth. A test plate is kept at the centre of the pit.
The load is applied in steps and the settlement noted. The pressure vs settlement is then
plotted. The ultimate bearing capacity is then calculated. The safe bearing capacity is the
ultimate bearing capacity divided by factor of safety.( 2 or 2.5)
Standard Penetration Test (SPT)
The Standard Penetration test (SPT) is an in- situ testing method to determine the engineering
properties of subsurface soils. It is a simple test to estimate the relative density of soils and
approximate shear strength parameters.
In Standard Penetration Test (SPT) a standard thick-walled sampling tube is driven into the ground
at the bottom of a borehole by blows from a slide hammer with standard weight and falling distance.
The sampling tube is driven 150 mm into the ground and then the number of blows needed for the
tube to penetrate each 150 mm (6 in) up to a depth of 450 mm (18 in) is recorded. The sum of the


number of blows required for the second and third 6 in(150 mm) of penetration is reported as SPT
blow value, commonly termed the "N-value".
The N-value provides an indication of the relative density of the subsurface soil, and it is used to
estimate the approximate shear strength properties of the soils.

Correlation between SPT (N value), friction angle, and relative density

Correlation between SPT-N value and friction angle and Relative density (Meyerhoff 1956)

[Blows/0.3 m]

Soil packing

Relative Density

Friction angle


Very loose

< 20

< 30

4 -10


20 - 40

30 - 35

10 - 30


40 - 60

35 - 40

30 - 50


60 - 80

40 - 45

> 50

Very Dense

> 80

> 45

2.Laboratory tests: Undisturbed soil samples are collected from the field and tests conducted
in the laboratory to determine the shear strength of soil. Bearing capacity is then calculated.
Presumptive Bearing Capacity
National Building Code has recommended safe bearing capacity for different soils.
Type of soil

Safe bearing Capacity

(kN/sq m)

Fine sand, silt

Medium clay


Soft rock



Walls are the vertical elements of a building. They enclose the space within it and also divide
that space

Functional Requirements

strength and stability

weather resistance
fire resistance
thermal insulation
sound insulation

The walls are usually constructed of bricks, stones or concrete blocks in cement mortar.
Retaining Wall and Breast Wall
Retaining wall is constructed to retain soil or other fill material. Breast wall is to prevent slippage
of natural slopes .The lateral pressure on the wall is to be calculated and then the design made
The vertical support which is free from all sides and transfers the load to the floor below is called
a column. The column can be of wood, steel or RCC. It can be of circular, rectangular or square
in section.



Beam is a horizontal structural member supporting the floor above. The beam can be of wood,
steel or RCC.
Slab is constructed to divide the vertical space into various stories. The topmost slab is the roof

Floors are made of concrete. Steel bars are provided to take up the tensile stresses. The
diameter of the bar and the spacing of the bars will depend on the span of the room and the
intensity of load.



Lintel is a small beam provided over window and door opening to support the masonry above.
The lintel can be of wood, steel or RCC..


Arches are curved members provided over openings like door and window to support the wall
Elements of an Arch
Keystone: It is the wedge shaped block provided at the crown of an arch.
Extrados: it is the outer portion of an arch.
Intrados: It is the inner portion of an arch.
Voussoirs: They are the wedge shaped units forming the arch.

Clear span: It is the horizontal distance between the supports.

Rise: It is the vertical distance between the highest point on the intrados and the springing line.
Spring line: The imaginary line joining the springing points.
Springing points: The points from which the curve of the arch starts.

A staircase or stairway is one or more flights of stairs from one floor to another. It includes
landings, newel posts, handrails, balustrades and additional parts. It can be of wood, reinforced
cement concrete, iron or steel. According to their form, the staircases can be with straight flights,

with swinging flights, arched flights or spiral flights.

The roof is the topmost part of a building. It serves as a protective cover of the building. It
protects the inhabitants from rain, sun, wind and other climatic conditions. There are mainly
three types of roofs
- Sloping or pitched roofs
- Flat or terraced roofs
- Folded plate and shell roofs



Doors are openings in the wall at the floor level for entry and exit of persons, safety, security
and for light and air. The number of doors in a room should be the bare minimum. Its position
should judiciously selected. In genera doors have a frame and one or two shutters. There are
different types of doors Framed and braced door, Panelled door, Glazed door, Flush door,
Revolving door, Sliding door, Folding door etc..
Windows are openings provided in the wall for light, air and outside view. The window has also
got a frame and one or more shutters. There are different types of windows like sliding
window, louvered window, Bay window , Pivoted window. The window frame can be of timber,
steel or aluminium.

Normally in an ordinary house, people go from ground floor to other floors through a stair case.
But now a days more buildings are of multi stories whether residential commercial or office
building. In such buildings it is very difficult to move up through a stair case. Lifts are used there
for moving from one floor to another. It can be told that lLift is a moving platform which moves
up and down in a small enclosed space.

Escalator is a system of movable stairs used to move people upward and downward
directions. In public places like airports, railway stations, super markets etc escalators


are installed for the convenience of general public. The speed of escalators are
generally 0.75 m /second..

Points To Ponder

The basic components of a building are: Foundation, Plinth, Column, Wall, Lintel, Door,
Window, Floor, Stair, Roof
The purpose of a foundation is to distribute the load of superstructure to the soil below.
There are two types of foundations Shallow and deep foundation
Spread footing, combined footing, grillage foundation etc come under shallow
Pile foundation, Pier foundation and well foundation come under deep foundation.
Walls provide security to the in -habitants and also protection from rain, wind and sun
Columns are vertical members to transfer the load from top to bottom. Hey may of wood,
steel or concrete and may be of square, rectangular or circular in section.
There are different floors in a building ground floor and upper floor.
The roof is the topmost floor which provides protection to the building from rain, wind,
snow etc. The roof covering may be of tiles, slates or concrete slab.
Doors and windows are provided for access to the building, security for inhabitants, light
and air.
Model Questions


What are the main components of a building?

What is a foundation?
What are the different types of foundations?
What are the types of walls?
What is a column?
What is the purpose of a door?
What is a lintel?
What is a pile foundation?
Explain lift and escalator.




are blocks of rock and are used for construction of buildings (foundations, walls,
columns), flooring, broken stones for roads and concrete.
Classification of Rocks
1. Geological Classification
a) Igneous Rocks: These rocks are formed by cooling of molten material called magma.
These rocks are hard, strong, durable and dense with a crystalline structure. The
rocks are formed on the surface of earth or deep below.
Examples: Granite, Quartzite, Basalt, Dolomite
b) Sedimentary Rocks: Existing rocks are broken down to smaller particles by wind,
water and atmospheric gases. This process is called weathering. The smaller
particles (sediments) thus formed are transported to other places and deposited
there. Gradually the sediments are compressed under their own weight and
sedimentary rocks are formed.
Example; Sand stone, Lime stone
c) Metamorphic Rocks: Igneous and sedimentary rocks when subjected to increased
pressure and temperature are transformed to a new type of rock. This rock is called
metamorphic rock.
Example: Marble, Schist, Slate, Gneiss
2. Physical Classification
a) Stratified Rocks: These rocks exist in distinct layers and can be split along these
Example: Sand stone, Lime stone
b) Un stratified rocks: These rocks do not exist in layers but occur in huge masses.
Example: Granite, Basalt

c) Foliated Rocks: These rocks have a layered or banded appearance which is

produced by exposure to heat and pressure.
Example: Gneiss
3. Chemical Classification
a) Siliceous Rocks: In this, the main constituent is silica. The rocks are hard, durable
and are capable of resisting weathering action.
Example: Granite, Quartzite
b) Argillaceous Rocks: Argil (clay ) is the main constituent of these rocks. These are
hard and durable but are brittle.
Example: Slate, Laterite
c) Calcareous Rocks: Calcium carbonate is the main constituent of these rocks.
Example: Marble, Limestone, Dolomite

Hardness Classification
Based on the hardness, rocks are classified as
Soft rocks, Medium rocks, Hard rocks and Very hard rocks

Mineral Constituents of Rocks

The main chemical constituents of rocks are:
Minerals: Alumina, Silica, Lime, Magnesia
Alkalies: Soda, Potash
Acids: Carbonic acid

Uses of stones
- Buildings: Foundations, walls, columns, lintels, floorings
- Bridges: Piers, Abutments, Retaining walls
- Roads and Railways: As broken stone (ballast)
- Concrete: As coarse aggregate (broken stone)

Rough broken stone as it comes from quarry is called rubble. Rubble may come from Granite,
Basalt, Gneiss or Sand stone. It is used in construction of foundations, walls, road work canal
protection works etc.


Laterite is a sedimentary rock. It is generally found in tropical climate (hot and wet) regions like
Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra, Tamil Nadu etc. These are cut from quarries in rectangular blocks.
They have to be seasoned (left in air) for about one or two months to attain full strength. The
normal compressive strength of laterite is 1.8 to 3.2 N / sq mm. The blocks of stones obtained
from quarry is to be dressed (giving proper shape and size). The standard size of laterite stone
is 44 cm x 24 cm x 14 cm. Laterite stones are used in walls of buildings and boundary
(compound) walls.

Qualities of good stones

The qualities of good stones are: Crushing strength, Hardness, Durability, Texture, Appearance
a) Crushing strength: It is the load per unit area required to break a specimen of stone
under a compressive load. It is expressed in Newton / square mm.
Type of rock

Range of crushing strength

(N / sq. mm)
90 to 210
2 to 4
80 to 140

Hardness: When stone is used in floors and pavements, it t is subjected to large amount
of wear and tear. Hardness is very important in these cases. It is determined by the
hardness test.

c) Durability: A good stone should be durable. The durability of a stone depends on

chemical composition, physical structure and its resistance to atmospheric action.


d) Texture: It is the characteristic physical structure indicated by the size, shape and
arrangement of grains in the stone.
e) Water absorption: Stones may have pores in it. When stones come in contact with water,
it may absorb water. A good stone should not absorb water more than 5 % of its weight.
f) Appearance: Stones should have a pleasing appearance specially when used on
exteriors. Light coloured stones are preferred to dark coloured.
h) Workability: The stones obtained from quarries are to be dressed properly before using it.
The process of removing sharp corners, giving proper shape, size and surface finish is called
dressing. Some stones like granite and basalt are very hard, tough and therefore are difficult to
be dressed easily.
i) Weathering: Stones should have the capacity to withstand the effects of weathering action.
Otherwise they may disintegrate and decompose easily.


Deterioration of Stones
In course of time, stones may get deteriorated, due to the action of natural agencies like wind,
water and temperature. The colour may also fade out giving a bad appearance. Polluted gases
containing harmful agents from nearby industries may also add to the deterioration of stones.
Preservation of Stones
Stones should be protected from weathering action by adopting suitable measures like
application of preservatives. A preservative is a solution which has to be applied on to the
surface of stone so as to protect it from weathering action. An ideal preservative should be
easily applicable, cheap and should penetrate easily into the interior of the stone The commonly
used preservatives are paint, coal tar and linseed oil.
Commonly used stones
The commonly used stones in India are Granite, Laterite, Basalt, Marble, Sand stone and
Lime stone.
Quarrying of stones
The process of extracting blocks of stones from natural rock bed is termed as quarrying.
Methods of quarrying; The following methods are adopted for quarrying.

Quarrying with hand tools

Quarrying with channeling machines
Quarrying by blasting

Dressing of stones
The stones after quarrying are to be given to correct size and shape. This processing is known
as dressing of stones. This may be done at the quarry or the construction site.
Testing of Stones
To ascertain the qualities of building stones, different tests are conducted.
Crushing Strength test: The crushing strength is obtained by testing the specimen in a
compressive testing machine.
Attrition test: The stones (coarse aggregates) used in road construction work are subjected to
grinding action of traffic. Attrition test is conducted to obtain the resistance of stones to
Acid test: This test is conducted to ascertain the weathering resistance of stones. The stone
chips are kept in a solution of hydrochloric acid for seven days and then tested.


Absorption test: For this test, dried stone chips are kept in distilled water for three days, taken
out ,weighed and absorption calculated.
Hardness test: This test is conducted in Dorrys testing machine.
Impact test: This test is done in an impact testing machine to find out the toughness of stones.

Points To Ponder

Stones are blocks of rock. Rocks are formed by the cooling of molten magma.
There are different types of rocks Igneous , Sedimentary and Metamorphic rocks
Stones are used for foundation, wall, pavement etc
Stones can be classified under geological, physical, chemical and hardness categories..
The commonly used stones are - Granite, Laterite, Marble, Gneiss, Slate, Sandstone
Qualities of good stones are - Strength, Durability, Appearance, Water absorption, Fire
resistance, Workability
Stones can be protected from weathering by application of certain
The process of extracting blocks of stones from natural rock bed is termed as quarrying.
The process of giving proper size and shape to stones is called dressing.
To ascertain the qualities of building stones, different tests are conducted like Crushing
strength, Attrition, Absorption, Hardness, Toughness .

Model Questions


What are the different classifications of rocks?

What are the uses of stones?
What are the qualities of good stones?
How are stones get deteriorated?
How are stones preserved?
What are the common building stones of India?
What is meant by quarrying of stones?
What is dressing of stones?
What are the tests conducted to ascertain the qualities of building stones?


Ordinary Brick

Brick is one of the oldest building material.

It is reported that Egyptions, Romans and Chinese

used bricks for building construction centuries back. They are extensively used now days also
due to its strength, durability, light weight, low cost and easy availability. Bricks are rectangular
blocks of clay hardened by burning in kilns .
Composition of Good Brick Earth
The constituents of good brick earth are:
1) Alumina (Al2O3):
A good brick earth may contain about 20% to 30% of Alumina. It imparts plasticity to the earth
so that the brick can be moulded to correct size and shape.
2) Silica (SiO2):
It exists in the brick earth either free or combined. A good brick earth should contain about 50%
to 60% of silica. It prevents the shrinkage, cracking and warping of raw bricks. The durability of
bricks depends upon proper composition of silica in brick earth. The excess of silica destroys
the cohesion of particles and brick become brittle.
3) Lime (CaCO3):
A small quantity of lime of about 5% is desirable in good brick earth. It should be present in a
very fine state. The lime prevents shrinkage of the raw bricks. The excess of lime causes brick
to melt and therefore its shape may be lost.
4) Oxide of Iron (Fe2O3):
Iron oxide helps in fusing of the sand and also provides the red color to the bricks. It is normally
kept below 5 to 6% because excess of lime may cause dark blue or black color to the brick.
5) Magnesia: It adds yellow tint to the bricks. A good brick earth may contain about 1 %



Harmful Constituents of Brick Earth

Iron pyrites
Iron pyrites in brick earth causes the brick to get crystallized and disintegrated during burning.
Also it may discolour the bricks.
Alkalis exist in brick earth in the form of soda and potash. It causes bricks to fuse, twist and
warp. The alkalis remaining in bricks will absorb moisture from the atmosphere. The moisture
gets evaporated in course of time leaving grey or white deposits on the surface. This is known
as efflorescence.
Stone Pebbles and Gravel
It prevents uniform and through mixing of clay resulting in weak and porous bricks.
Vegetation and Organic Matter
Vegetation and organic matter in brick earth assists in burning. But if they are not completely
burnt, the bricks may become porous and weak.


Tests For Determination of Suitability of Brick Earth

The following tests are conducted to find the suitability of the earth for the manufacture of
bricks: Strength, Soundness, Consistency, Suitability for moulding, Shrinkage and Deformation
after burning.
Manufacture of Bricks
These are the steps in manufacture of bricks:
Selection of suitable site for manufacture of bricks
The site should be a fairly level ground. Water, firewood, good brick earth and electricity should
be available at site. Good road network should be there so that men and materials can be
conveniently transported. The site should be slightly away from thickly populated residential
areas so that the residents are not subjected to any inconvenience.
Preparation of Brick Earth
The site is cleared off all rubbish. The upper layer of 20-25 cm thick is removed. The clay is dug
out. Vegetable matter, roots, gravel etc if present are removed. Water is then spread on the
heap of clay and thoroughly mixed. It is then exposed to atmosphere for few weeks for
softening. After adding water again, the clay is kneaded under the feet of a man or cattle. For
large scale manufacturing, pug mills are used. This process is known as tempering.

Pug Mill


Moulding of bricks
The thoroughly mixed clay is put in the moulds to give proper size and shape. Moulding can be
done by hand or by machine. Hand moulding can be Ground moulding or Table moulding.
Ground moulding: The mould is first dipped in water and kept on a clean and level ground. A
lump of clay is then pushed into the mould. The surplus soil is then removed, the mould is then
lifted. The process is then repeated.
Table moulding: In this case, all the work is done on a specially made table.

Table Moulding
The moulded bricks are sun dried by keeping them in open air. in stacks for three to eight days.
The drying can be done by artificial methods also.
Burning of bricks
The dried bricks are burnt in clamps or kilns. For smaller quantities clamps are used while for
larger quantities kilns are used. The burning imparts hardness and strength to the bricks.


Clamps: In this dried bricks and firewood are kept in alternate layers on a specially prepared
level ground. The heap of bricks is then plastered with mud. The bricks are then ignited from
bottom. The burning is continued for about a month and then allowed to cool for another month.
Kilns: There are two types of kilns Intermittent kilns, Continuous kilns
Intermittent kilns: In this type of kiln, burnt bricks will be available only after complete burning.
The supply of bricks is not continuous.
Continuous kilns: In this type of kiln, it is possible to get bricks at any instant. This is because
there are a number of chambers in this kiln.- while in one chamber the bricks may be loading, in
another it may be burning and in another it may be cooling. There are different types of
continuous kilns.
The Hoffmans Continuous Kiln.

In this there are a number of chambers. There is a central chimney which is connected to all the
chambers. At any point of time, loading will be going in one chamber, preheating in another,
heating in one, cooling in another and cleaning in another and so on.
Cooling and Stacking
The bricks after burning are cooled and kept in stacks for further transport to the construction


Qualities of good bricks

- The bricks should be of standard size (19 cm x 9 cm x 9 cm, weight 3 to 3.5 kg) with sharp
corners and typical red colour.
- The bricks should be properly burnt.
- It should not absorb water more than 20 % of its dry weight
- When two bricks are struck together, a clear ringing sound should be heard
- It should not be possible to make a scratch on the surface with a finger nail. It indicates that

the bricks are sufficiently hard.

- The bricks should not be disfigured by the deposition of salt on the surface. This is known as
Standard tests for Bricks
There are two types of tests - Field tests and Laboratory tests.
Field Tests
Colour test: The bricks should have typical brick red colour.
Hardness test: On the surface of the brick, try to make a scratch with a finger nail; if vno scratch
could be made, the brick is hard.
Soundness test: Strike two bricks together. If clear metallic sound can be heard, the bricks are
considered as sound.
Strength test: Drop a brick on a hard flat ground from a height of about one metre. It will not
break, if the brick has sufficient strength.
For proper quality control of bricks, following laboratory tests are recommended by Bureau of
Indian Standards Compressive strength, Water absorption, Efflorescence, Dimension
Compressive strength (IS 1077- 1970)

Compressive testing machine


Take five bricks at random, keep them in water for 24 hours, take out and wipe out water
from the surface

Spread a layer of cement mortar of 1: 3 proportion, keep them in sacks for 24 hours.

After this, keep the bricks in water for a week.

Take the bricks out, dry them

Test the bricks in a compressive testing machine.

Note the load at which the bricks fail.

The maximum load divided by the cross sectional area gives the compressive strength.

Water absorption Test (IS 1077- 1970)

-Take five bricks at random
-Keep them in an oven at 110 degree centigrade for 48 hours
-Take the bricks out of oven, cool it and then weigh (W1)
-Keep the bricks in water for 24 hours
- Take out, wipe the water and weigh again (W2)
- Water absorption = W2 W1

x 100

Efflorescence Test (IS 1077- 1970)
Take five bricks at random

Keep each brick in a flat bottom vessel. Fill distilled water such that the
brick is in water for not less than 2.5 cm deep
The water from the vessel may get evaporated and the bricks may be dried. Add fresh water.
After the second stage of drying, observe for white patches of salt on the surface (efflorescence)
The efflorescence is qualitatively described as Serious, Heavy, Moderate, Slight, Nil.
Dimension Tolerance Test (IS 1077- 1970)
This test is done to check the dimensions of bricks- length, breadth and height.
Advantages of Bricks over Stones
- Bricks can be moulded to any shape
- They are marginally cheaper compared to stones
- They are lighter in weight
- They can be easily handled by mason
- They are more fire resistant

Classification of bricks
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has classified burnt bricks into four classes- First Class,
Second Class, Third Class and Fourth Class.:
1. First Class bricks:
Well burnt and having perfect rectangular shape
When two bricks are struck each other a ringing sound is produced
Compressive strength shall not be less than 140 kg/ sq cm
Its absorption of water shall not exceed 20% after 24 hours
Appearance, shape and size should be uniform


Suitable for all types of construction in the exterior walls when the plastering is not
Suitable for flooring
2. Second class bricks
Slightly irregular in shape
Marginally over burnt
Should not absorb water more than 22%
Minimum compressive strength 70 kg/sq cm
Suitable for internal walls
3. Third class bricks
Not burnt properly
Moderate efflorescence
Should not absorb water more than 24% of its weight
Minimum compressive strength 35 kg/ sq cm
Used for unimportant and temporary works
Fourth class bricks
Over burnt, dark in colour, irregular in size and shape


Used as aggregate in concrete and road works

Special types of Bricks

These bricks are not of regular shape and size. Composition of these bricks may also
be different from that of ordinary bricks. Some of the special types of bricks are: Hollow brick
, Perforated brick, Bull nose brick, Paving brick, Refractory brick, Coping brick.

Perforated Brick


Bull nose brick Coping Brick

Points to Ponder

Good brick earth should contain Silica, Alumina, Lime, Iron oxide and Manganese

Harmful ingredients of brick earth are Stone, Pebble, Vegetation and Organic matter.

Recommended field tests to determine the suitability of brick earth are- Consistency,
Suitability for moulding, Strength, Shrinkage and Deformation, Soundness

Steps for manufacture for brick are: Preparation of brick earth, Moulding, Drying, Burning
and Cooling

Tests for determining the quality of bricks are Crushing strength, Hardness, Water
absorption, Soundness, Shape & size

Bricks are classified as First, Second, Third and Fourth class bricks.

If soluble salts are present in the bricks, it may appear as white patches. This is known
as efflorescence

The qualities of good bricks are: Hard, Uniform colour, Free fro cracks, Standard size,
Crushing strength > 3.5 N/sq mm, low thermal conductivity, homogeneous structure

Model Questions
1. What are the qualities of good bricks?
2. What are the different steps of manufacture of bricks?
3. What is efflorescence?
4. What are the different laboratory tests to assess the quality of bricks?
5. What are the field tests?
6. What are the advantages of bricks over stones?
7. What are the different classifications of bricks?
8. What is a frog?
9. What is a clamp?
10. How are bricks burnt?
11. What is a Hoffmans kiln?



A tile is a

piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, marble or clay. It is

generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, showers, and other places. The word tile is
derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof
tile composed of fired clay. Tiled flooring is commonly used in residential, commercial and office
buildings. Tiles are manufactured in factories under controlled conditions.

Points to be taken into consideration while selecting tiles:

Appearance, Cleanliness, Durability, Resistance to abrasion, Fire resistance, Initial cost,
Maintenance, Dampness resistance.
Types of Tiles
Floor tiles, Roof Tiles, Wall tiles, Drain tiles

Roof Tile


Floor Tile

Ceramic Tiles
Wall and floor tile used for interior and exterior decoration belongs to a class of ceramics known
as white wares. The production of tile dates back to ancient times. For instance, the Step
Pyramid for the Pharoah Djoser, built in ancient Egypt around 2600 B.C., contained colorful
glazed tiles. By the beginning of the twentieth century, tile was manufactured on an industrial
scale. The invention of the tunnel kiln around 1910 increased the automation of tile
manufacture. Today, manufacture of tiles is highly automated.
Raw Materials
The raw materials used to manufacture tile consist of clay minerals mined from the earth's crust.
Natural minerals such as feldspar are used to lower the firing temperature. The raw materials
must be pulverized and sorted according to particle size. Primary crushers are used to reduce
large lumps of material.

The initial step in ceramic tile manufacture involves mixing the ingredients. Water is added and
then ground in a ball mill. The resulting compound is then pressed into the desired shape.
Sieves are used to separate out particles in a specific size range. The sieves are kept in a
sloped position and are vibrated mechanically or electromechanically . A glaze is a glass
material designed to melt onto the surface of the tile during firing, and which then adheres to the
tile surface during cooling. Glazes are used to provide moisture resistance and decoration, as
they can be colored or can produce special textures.


The Manufacturing Process

After processing the raw materials, the following steps are taken to obtain the finished product..
These steps include batching, mixing, grinding, spray-drying, forming, drying, glazing, and firing.
Many of these steps are now accomplished using automated equipments.
*The composition is determined by the type of raw materials. The raw materials also
determine the color of the tile, which can be red or white in color, depending on the
amount of iron-containing raw materials used. Therefore, it is important to mix the right
amounts together to achieve the desired properties. Batch calculations are done taking
into consideration both the physical properties and chemical compositions of the raw
materials. Once the appropriate weight of each raw material is determined, the raw
materials are mixed together.
Mixing and grinding

2 After the ingredients are weighed, they are put together into a mixer. Sometimes it is
necessary to add water to improve the mixing of a multiple-ingredient batch as well as to
achieve fine grinding. This process is called wet milling and is often performed using a
ball mill. The resulting mixture is called a slurry or slip. The water is then removed from
the slurry by filter pressing, followed by dry milling.

Spray drying

3 If wet milling is adopted, the excess water is removed by spray drying. This involves
pumping the slurry to an atomizer consisting of a rapidly rotating disk or nozzle. Droplets
of the slip are dried as they are heated by a rising hot air column, forming small, free
flowing granules that result in a powder suitable for forming.
Tile bodies can also be prepared by dry grinding followed by granulation. Granulation
uses a machine in which the mixture of previously dry-ground material is mixed with
water in order to form the particles into granules, which again form a powder ready for



4 Most tile is formed by dry pressing. In this method, the free flowing powder containing
organic binder or a low percentage of moistureflows from a hopper into the forming
die. The material is compressed in a steel cavity by steel plungers and is then ejected by
the bottom plunger. Automated presses are used with operating pressures as high as
2,500 tons.


5 Ceramic tiles must be dried (at high relative humidity) after forming, especially if a wet
method is used. Drying can take several days. This removes the water at a slow rate
to prevent shrinkage cracks. Continuous or tunnel driers are used that are heated using
gas or oil, infrared lamps, or microwaves. Infrared drying is better suited for thin tile,
whereas microwave drying works better for thicker tile. Another method, impulse drying,
uses pulses of hot air flowing in the transverse direction instead of continuously in the
material flow direction.


6. After a batch formulation is calculated, the raw materials are weighed, mixed and dry
or wet milled. The milled glazes are then applied using one of the many methods
available. Dry glazing is also being used. This involves the application of powders,
crushed frits (glass materials), and granulated glazes onto a wet-glazed tile surface.
After firing, the glaze particles melt into each other to produce a surface like granite.



7 After glazing, the tile must be heated in a kiln intensely to strengthen it .

8 After firing and testing, the tile is ready to be packed and shipped.
Fixing of Floor Tiles:

First a layer of mortar is spread to a thickness of 25-mm. Then apply cement slurry to
the bottom and sides of the tile. The tile is then pressed in position by hitting with a
mallet. Then the following day the joints are cleaned of loose mortar, raked up to a
depth of 5 mm and then filled up with coloured cement slurry.

Tests of Tiles
Bureau of Indian Standards recommends the following tests to determine the quality of ceramic
tiles (ISO 10545-1: 1995) Dimensions and surface quality, water absorption, modulus of rupture,
impact resistance, abrasion and chemical resistance.


Points to Ponder

Tiles are materials for covering roof, floor and wall

Points to be taken into consideration while selecting tiles are::

Appearance, Cleanliness, Durability, Resistance to abrasion, Fire resistance, Initial cost,

Maintenance and Dampness resistance.

The types of tiles are - Floor tiles, Roof Tiles, Wall tiles and Drain tiles

Tiles are manufactured out of ceramics

The steps of manufacturing bricks are - batching, mixing, grinding, spray-drying, forming,
drying, glazing, and firing.

Bureau of Indian Standards recommends the following tests to determine the quality of
ceramic tiles (ISO 10545-1: 1995): Dimensions and surface quality, water absorption,
modulus of rupture, impact resistance, abrasion and chemical resistance.

Model Questions
1. What is a tile?
2. What for tiles are used?
3. What are the points to be taken into consideration while selecting tiles?
4. What are the steps of manufacturing tiles?
5. What are the tests to be conducted to determine the quality of tiles?



One material which has completely revolutionized the construction industry is cement. It was in
1824, a mason of England by name Joseph Aspidin developed cement by burning at high
temperature a mixture of lime and clay and then grinding it into fine powder. This is known as
Ordinary Portland Cement.
Composition of Ordinary Portland Cement

Average (%)






Calcium Sulphate

Iron oxide




Manufacture of Cement
There are three operations in the manufacture of cement:
1. Mixing of raw materials



1. Mixing of raw materials: There are two processes for mixing raw materials1. Dry Process 2. Wet Process


Dry Process
The raw materials lime stone and clay - are air dried and then separately ground into fine
powder in ball mills and stored in silos or hoppers.. They are then mixed in correct proportions.

Wet Process
The raw materials are crushed separately and are stored in silos. They are then drawn from
silos into the wet grinding mills. Water is added and ground to a fine paste (slurry).


Wet Process
The slurry or the dry mixture is then burnt in a rotary kiln. The rotary kiln consists of a
steel tube of diameter of 250-300 cm and of length 60 m to 120m. The kiln rotates about
its axis at the rate of one revolution per minute. The slurry is injected at the upper end of
the kiln. Hot air is pumped from the lower end. As the dried slurry comes down to the
burning zone, it is converted into small lumps which are then converted into clinkers.

Rotary Kiln

3. Grinding: The grinding of the clinkers is done in ball mills or tube mills. During grinding 2
to 4 % gypsum is added to control the initial setting time of cement. The finely ground
cement is stored in silos, packed in bags and then transported to the market.
Properties of Portland Cement and Tests for its Determination
The properties can be classified in three categories: Chemical Composition, Physical
Properties, Mechanical Properties
Chemical Composition:
The quality of cement depends on the ratio of the major components like lime, alumina,
silica and iron oxide. As per IS 269 (1973), the recommended compositions are:
-The ratio of percentage of lime to percentage of silica, alumina and iron oxide
shall not be more than 1 and shall not be less than 0.66.
-Weight of insoluble residue shall not exceed 1.5%
- Weight of magnesia shall not be greater than 5%
Physical Properties:
Fineness: Finer cement particles impart better quality. It is determined by sieve test or specific
surface test.
Soundness: It is the capacity of cement to form a hard and strong mass on setting. It is
determined by the Le Chatelier test.
Setting of cement: When water is added to cement it forms a thick paste. Gradually as time
passes, it transforms into a non-plastic rigid mass. The setting time is influenced by the amount
of water added to the cement, the temperature at which the cement paste is allowed to set and
the humidity of the atmosphere. The setting of cement is identified in two stages, initial setting
and final setting. The setting time is determined in the laboratory by Vicat Needle Apparatus As
per Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), for ordinary cement , the initial setting time shall not be
less than 30 minutes and the final setting time should not be more than 10 hours.


Vicat Needle Apparatus

Mechanical Properties:
Compressive strength: Cement mortar cubes of size 7.06 cm are made out of mortar of 1: 3
composition ( 1 part of cement to 3 parts of sand) and tested in a Universal compressive testing
machine. Normally the tests are done after 3, 7 and 28 days.
Tensile strength: Test pieces (briquettes) are made out of cement sand mortar 1: 3 and tested in
a standard tensile testing machine after 3, 7 and 28 days.
Compressive and Tensile strength as per BIS
Ordinary Portland Cement


3 days


not less than 115 kg/sq cm


not less than 29 kg/sq cm


not less than 175 kg/sq cm


not less than 35 kg/sq cm

7 days


Different Types of Cement

In addition to Ordinary Portland Cement, there are other types of cements manufactured by
changing the composition of raw materials and also by adding some other materials.
Rapid Hardening Cement: This is expected to attain maximum strength in 24 - 72 hours.
This cement is manufactured by adding slightly more quantity of limestone and also by
grinding more finely compared to OPC. This is generally used in situations where strength
has to be attained quickly. It attains 7 days strength of OPC in 3 days. Shuttering can be
removed early and period of curing is less.
Low Heat Cement: Only small amount of heat is generated during setting and hardening of
this cement. This is generally used for massive construction like dams.
Quick Setting Cement: In this the amount of quantity of gypsum is reduced while small
quantity of aluminium sulphate is added. Also the cement is finely ground. This type of
cement is used for concreting in stagnant or running water.
High Alumina Cement: This contains comparatively large percentage of alumina compared
to OPC. This cement can withstand corrosive action of sea water Though its initial setting
time is slightly more (about 3.5 hours), its final setting time is less to about 5 hours.
Pozzolana Cement:. In this type of cement, pozzolanic materials (powered burnt bricks, fly
ash etc) are mixed to add certain qualities to the ordinary cement. It offers great resistance
to sulphate and corrosive action of sea water. Also it does not release large amount of heat
when reacting with water. As such it is suitable for mass construction work.
White cement: It is a special type of cement with a milky white colour. In this type of cement,
iron oxide, manganese and chromium are not added. Instead of coal, oil is used in kiln for

Grades of Cement
Cement is graded according to its compressive strength. Cement mortar of 1: 3 proportion is
made and then cubes of surface area 50 sq cm is made and then tested after 28 days.
Cement type


Compressive strength (N/sq mm)

Grade 33


Grade 43


Grade 53


Points to Ponder

Cement is a widely used construction material

It is a mixture of Argillaceous, Calcareous and Siliceous materials
There are 3 stages of manufacture of cement
They are mixing of raw materials, burning and grinding
The mixing can be done in dry or wet condition
The burning is done in rotary kiln at a very high temperature
The clinker obtained after burning is ground in ball mills/tube mills.
The properties of cement can be classified under physical and chemical heads
The main properties are strength, soundness. fineness, setting time
The main uses of cement are to make cement mortar & cement concrete (Plain and
There are different types of cement Ordinary Portland Cement, Rapid Hardening
Cement, Sulphate Resisting Cement, Quick Setting Cement, White Cement, etc

Model questions

1. What are the ingredients of OPC?

2. Explain briefly the different processes of manufacture of cement.
3. What is meant by setting of cement?
4. What are the mechanical properties of cement?
5. What are the properties of rapid hardening cement?
6. Where is sulphate resisting cement used?
7. How is setting time determined in the lab.?
8. What are the different grades of cement?
9. What is soundness of cement? How is it determined?
10. What are the uses of cement?



Sand is a natural aggregate obtained by disintegration of rock. Sand is required for making
cement mortar and cement concrete. They range in size from 2 mm to 0.075 mm.

Types of sand:
Natural Sand
Sands are of three types based on the mode of origin, composition and grain size.
- According to mode of origin:
River sand, Pit sand, Sea sand
-According to size of grains
Fine sand, Coarse sand, Gravelly sand
-According to shape of grains
Angular, Rounded, Flaky
Artificial sand (M sand)
Due to extensive use of natural sand for construction works, it has become short in supply. This
has necessitated the search of alternate sources. Some such alternate sands are: surkhi ( finely
ground burnt bricks),coal ash and stone screenings (M sand).

Grading of sand:
A group of sand may contain particles of different sizes. Determination of the proportions of
various sizes is known as grading. This is done by sieve analysis. Proper grading of aggregates
helps in producing dense concrete. Also, it helps in improving workability, strength, economy
and durability. The smaller size particles fill the gap (voids) of larger particles.


Fineness Modulus:
This is an index which gives an idea of the fineness or coarseness of the particles. Higher value
of fineness modulus indicates higher coarseness of particles. The fineness modulus is
determined by sieve analysis. In this, a known quantity of sand is passed through a set of
sieves ( 80 mm to 150 microns) The weight of sand retained on each sieve is noted. Their
percentages and cumulative percentages are then calculated.
Fineness modulus = (Sum of cumulative percentages retained on sieves) / 100
Based on fineness modulus, sands are classified as

Fineness Modulus

Fine sand

2.2 to 2.6

Medium sand

2.6 to 2.9

Coarse sand

2.9 to 3.2

Field test of sand:

Presence of clay: Take a glass of water. Add little sand into it. Thoroughly mix the sand and
water and allow it to settle. A distinct of layer of clay will be formed at top if clay is present.
Presence of organic matter: Add a solution of sodium hydroxide to a small quantity of sand and
mix it. The presence of organic matter is indicated if the colour of solution changes to brown.
Presence of salt: Take some sand and taste it..
Presence of mud: Take a small quantity of sand and rub against the fingers. The fingers will be
stained if mud is present.

Bulking of sand:
The increase in the volume of sand due to surface moisture is called bulking . The increase in
volume may range from 20 % to 40% when moisture content is 5 to 10 %.


Characteristics of Natural sand (IS 650-1966)

-It should pass through 2 mm IS sieve and retained on 90 micron sieve.
- It should be free from organic matter
- It should be free from dirt
-It should be of light grey colour

-It should be chemically inert

-It should be of sharp, angular, coarse and durable grains
-It should be well graded
-It should not contain salt

Functions of sand in mortar and concrete

Strength - By changing the quantity of sand in the mix, the strength can be adjusted.
Shrinkage - It prevents the excessive shrinkage of cement concrete/cement mortar on drying. It
also prevents the cracking in the concrete.
Surface area - The presence of sand in the cement paste helps to add more surface area.
Workability- It gives workability to cement mortar/concrete.


Points to Ponder

Sand comes under fine aggregate. River sand is an example.

It should pass through 4.75 mm IS sieve
Sand can be natural or artificial ( crushed stone)
M sand (manufactured sand) is artificial sand
Determination of the various sizes of sand particles is called grading.
It is done by sieve analysis
Fineness modulus is the value obtained by adding the cumulative percentages of
residues retained on IS sieves (80mm to 150 microns) divided by 100.

Model Questions


What are the different classifications of sand?

What are the properties of sand?
What are the field tests on sand?
What is bulking of sand?
What is M sand?
What is the purpose of sieve analysis?
What is fineness modulus?
What is meant by grading of cement?
What are the uses of sand?

Broken Stones (Coarse Aggregates)

Crushed stone and natural gravel are the materials generally used as coarse aggregates.


majority of works, 20 mm size aggregate is recommended. Aggregates are inert granular

materials .For a good concrete mix, aggregates need to be clean, hard, strong particles free of
absorbed chemicals or coatings of clay and other fine materials that could cause the
deterioration of concrete. Aggregates account for 60 to 75 percent of the total volume of
concrete. Coarse aggregates are any particles greater than 0.19 inch, but generally range
between 3/8 and 1.5 inches in diameter.
Crushed aggregate is produced by crushing quarry rock, boulders, cobbles, or large-size gravel.
After crushing, aggregates are screened and washed to obtain proper cleanliness and gradation
Aggregates strongly influence concrete's properties, mixture proportions and economy.
Therefore, selection of aggregates is an important process.

The main characteristics of broken stones that are taken into considered are:
Strength, Shape, Size, Grading, Porosity, Abrasion resistance, Durability, Soundness:
Strength: Strong aggregates are essential for obtaining strong concrete.
Surface texture: It affects the bond to the cement paste and also influences the quantity of
water to be added to the mix.
Grading: It is the particle size distribution of particles as determined by the sieve analysis. The

grading of aggregate must be so that the workability and density of concrete are not
adversely affected .Grading is determined in the laboratory by the fineness modulus test.


Porosity (Permeability): It may affect the bond between the aggregates and the cement paste.
Organic Impurities: It may interfere with the setting and hardening of concrete.
Soundness: It is the ability of aggregates to resist volume change to environmental effects like
temperature change and alternate wetting & drying.
Abrasion resistance It is also known as resistance to wear. It is of importance when concrete
is used for road construction and factory floor works Its vale is determined in the laboratory by
Los Angeles test.
Aggregate size: Larger the size of aggregates, smaller the surface area to be wetted. This
reduces the requirement of water. So for the same workability and cement content, higher
strength can be obtained.

Coarse Aggregate Testing

The suggested teats for coarse aggregates for roads are:
Los-Angeles Abrasion Test, Aggregate Crushing strength test, Aggregate Impact value test,
Sieve Analysis/Grading Test of Coarse Aggregates, Specific Gravity and Water Absorption
Tests of Coarse Aggregates, Flakiness and Elongation Index, Soundness Test of Coarse
Aggregates, Alkali-Silica Reactivity of Coarse Aggregates
The main tests are briefly described here: (IS 2386 Part IV 1963)
Los Angeles Abrasion Test:
The aggregate used in surface course of the highway pavements are subjected to wearing due
to movement of traffic. When vehicles move on the road, the soil particles present between the
pneumatic tyre and road surface cause abrasion of road aggregates. Therefore, the road
aggregates should be hard enough to resist abrasion. Resistance to abrasion of aggregate is
determined in the laboratory by Los Angeles test machine. The principle of Los Angeles
abrasion test is to produce abrasive action by use of standard steel balls. These steel balls are
mixed with aggregates and rotated in a drum for specific number of revolutions. It causes
impact on aggregates. The percentage wear of the aggregates due to rubbing with steel balls is
determined. This is known as Los Angeles Abrasion Value.


Los Angeles Test Machine

Aggregate Crushing value test

Collect the sample passing through 12.5 mm IS sieve and retained on 10 mm sieve. Dry the
sample by keeping it in oven at 105-110 degree centigrade; cool the material. Find the weight of
the test specimen and then put in the test cylinder. (A). Apply the test load.(40 t).Remove the
load, pass the test sample through IS 2.36 mm sieve Find the weight of aggregate particles
passed through sieve.(B).
Crushing value = (B/A) x 100


Aggregate Impact Value

Collect the sample passing through 12.5 mm IS sieve and retained on 10 mm sieve. Dry the
sample by keeping it in oven at 105-110 degree centigrade; cool the material. Fill the cup of the
test machine and find the weight (A). Compact it with a tamping rod. Drop the hammer from the
specified height on the specimen. Repeat the test by dropping the hammer 15 times. Remove
the sample, sieve it through 2.36 mm IS sieve and find the weight of the passed sample (B).
Aggregate Impact value = (B / A) x 100

Grading of Aggregates
Grading refers to the particle-size distribution of aggregate. Grading limits and maximum
aggregate size affect the amount of aggregate, cement and water as well as workability and
durability of concrete. In general, if the water-cement ratio is chosen correctly, a wide range in
grading can be used without a major effect on strength.

Shape and Size Matter

Particle shape and surface texture influence the properties of freshly mixed concrete. Roughtextured, angular, and elongated particles require more water than smooth, rounded compact
aggregate. Therefore the cement content must also be increased to maintain the water-cement
ratio. The void content of particles affects the amount of cement paste required for the mix.
Angular aggregates increase the void content. Larger sizes of well-graded aggregate and
improved grading decrease the void content.


Points to Ponder

The main characteristics of broken stones are: Strength, Shape, Size, Grading, Porosity,
, Durability, Soundness
The recommended main tests on aggregates are - Los-Angeles Abrasion Test,
Aggregate Crushing strength test, Aggregate Impact value test
Grading refers to the particle size distribution of aggregates
Particle shape and surface texture influence the properties of freshly mixed concrete

Model Questions
1.How is broken stones obtained?
2. What are the main charactarestics of good broken stones?
3. What are the tests conducted on broken stones?
4. What is fineness modulus?
5. What is Los - Angeles test?
6. What is grading of aggregates?
7. What are the effects of shape and size of aggregates?


12. Cement Mortar

Cement mortar is a compound made by mixing cement and fine aggregate (sand) with a
specified quantity water. The mortar can be used for jointing of bricks and stone blocks,
plastering over brick / stone masonry, flooring etc..
Grades of Cement Mortar
Masonry mortars are specified as different grades depending upon their minimum compressive
strength, when tested on 28th day. Different grades of cement mortar and their mix proportions
are given below.
Mortar Mix (by Loose Volume)
Grade Name

Strength on 28th



day (in N/mm2)

MM 0.7

0.7 to 1.5

MM 1.5

1.5 to 2.0

MM 3

3.0 to 5.0

MM 5

5.0 to 7.5

MM 7.5

Above 7.5


Procedure of Hand Mixing of Cement Mortar

1. Take one bag of cement, which has a volume of nearly 0.035m3.
2. Measure required quantity of dry sand using a box of volume 0.035m3
3. Spread the measured amount of sand on a water tight platform.
4. Spread the cement over the sand.
5. Mix them dry by turning over by a shovel..
6. Make a small depression on top of the heap.
7. Add required amount of water at the centre as to get the required consistency.
8. Mix the cement - sand mass thoroughly for 5 to 10 minutes by a shovel.
9. Cement mortar is now ready
The mixing can be done by a mixer also.
Functions of sand in mortar
- To impart strength
- To prevent shrinkage
- To increase the volume of mortar
Properties of good mortar:
should adhere completely to the brick, stone block or other masonry unit to provide stability.
should be workable to set the masonry units right in position
Should rapidly develop strength when hardened.
Should resist the action of environmental factors such as frost and/or abrasion and
destructive effects of chemical salts
Should resist the penetration of rain water
Should accommodate irregularities in size of masonry units.
Should provide overall aesthetic appearance.
Should be cost effective



Types of mortar
Based on bulk density
Heavy mortar: Bulk density should be greater than 15 kN / m^3
Light mortar: Bulk density < 15 kN / m^3
Based on binding material
Mud mortar, Lime mortar, Cement mortar, Gypsum mortar
Special mortar
Light weight mortar, Fire resistant mortar, Sound absorbing mortar

Uses of Mortar
- Mortar is used to join bricks and stone blocks.
- For plastering of walls
- For pointing of brick and stone blocks in walls
- To fill cracks in the structure
- For flooring of rooms

Precautions in using mortar

- Cement mortar should be used immediately after preparation, say with in about 30 minutes
- Bricks and stones should be saturated in water before laying
- The plastered surface and masonry should be kept wet by sprinkling water for at least one

Tests for mortar


Crushing strength
Tensile strength
Setting time

Points to Ponder

Cement mortar is a mixture of cement, sand and water

It is used Joining bricks and stone blocks, Plastering of walls and Flooring
There are different types of mortar based on bulk density and binding material
The main properties of mortar are strength, workability, cost effectiveness, good
Mortars are specified by different grades as MM 3 like that where 3 stands for 28 days
compressive strength in N/ sq mm.

Model Questions
1. What is cement mortar?
2. What are the uses of cement mortar?

How is cement mortar prepared?

4. What are the properties of good mortar?

5. What is meant by MM3 cement mortar?
6. What are the precautions to be taken in using mortar?


13. Cement Concrete

Cement concrete

is a material which has completely revolutionized the construction industry.

From a small house to a muti-storey building, dams, bridges like that for almost all structures,
concrete is a must for its construction. Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, broken stone and
water. The paste, composed of portland cement and water, coats the surface of the fine and
coarse aggregates. Through a chemical reaction called hydration, the mix hardens and gains
strength to form a rock-like mass known as concrete. The concrete: is plastic when newly
mixed but strong and durable when hardened..Concretes durability, strength and relatively low
cost make it the backbone of buildings and all other infrastructure works.
Grades of Concrete
As per IS 456-2000, concrete is graded according to the compressive strength of nominal test
cubes. The grade is specified by M15, M20. like that where M stands for the mix and the suffix
number 15, 20 etc specifies the compressive strength of 15 cm size concrete cubes tested
under a compressive load after 28 days of casting. The compressive strength is specified in N /
sq. mm.
Grades of Concrete and their uses




Mass concrete works



Mass concrete Works



Plain cement concrete works



General RCC works in buildings



Water retaining structures




Design Mix

For pre-stressed concrete works

Proportioning of Concrete
This is the process of selecting the quantities of cement, sand, broken stone and water so as to
obtain a concrete of required strength, durability and workability.
The proportioning is done in two ways:

Nominal mix

Design mix

Nominal Mix
In this type of mix, all the ingredients are specified and their proportions are quantified. It is
generally used for relatively unimportant and simpler concrete works. Nominal mix concrete may
be used for concrete of M-20 or lower.
Design Mix
It is a performance based mix where choice of ingredients and proportioning are decided by the
engineer. The user has to specify only the requirements of concrete in fresh as well as
hardened state. The requirements in fresh concrete are workability and finishing characteristics,
whereas in hardened concrete these are mainly the compressive strength and durability. Trial
mixes are to be made and then tested in the laboratory.
Manufacture of concrete
The manufacture of concrete involves the following steps - Batching, Mixing, Transporting,
Laying (Placing), Compacting and Curing.
Batching: In this, the different materials- cement, sand, broken stone, water - are measured and
kept separately. Batching is by: a) volume batching b) Weight batching
Mixing: The mixing of raw materials can be done manually or mechanically.
Manual mixing91

Select a water tight platform of about 3 m x 3m size

Spread the measured quantity of sand on the platform

Then spread the cement evenly on the sand

Mix thoroughly the sand cement mixture with a shovel

Add the coarse aggregate and again mix it

Add water and mix again with a shovel till a uniform mixture is obtained

In machine mixing, a mixer is used for the process. This is adopted for bigger works and is
more efficient.
Transporting: The mixed concrete is to be transported to the work site from the mixing plant.
For smaller quantities, this can be done as head load in iron pans. Wheel barrows and hand
crafts are used for relatively large works, while belt conveyors are employed for very large
Placing (Laying): Before placing the concrete, the form work should be cleaned and oiled.
Care should be taken to see that the concrete is not dropped from a height as otherwise
separation may take place. The concrete must be placed in proper layers.
Compacting: The laid concrete has to be compacted to remove the entrapped air. If air gets
entrapped, it will reduce the strength. Compaction can be done by hand or by vibrators.
Curing: The freshly laid concrete has to be kept wet for a brief period to obtain the required
strength. This process is called curing. Normally it is done for 14 days. Curing is done by
different methods like spraying of water, keeping wet gunning bags over the surface or by
applying curing compounds.
Properties of Cement concrete
- Concrete has high compressive strength; but weak intension
- It binds with steel and therefore steel is used to reinforce concrete
- It forms a hard surface on setting
- There is no appreciable effect of weather on concrete surface
- Due to loss of water, concrete may have shrinkage
- Concrete hardens with age


- It can be moulded to any size / shape

Water cement Ratio

The ratio of the amount of water to the amount of cement by weight is called water-cement ratio.
The amount of water added determines the strength and workability of concrete. When water
cement ratio is less, complete hydration of cement particles will not take place which leads to
low strength. On the other hand, if the quantity of water added is more, the excess water will get
evaporate subsequently creating voids and lowers the strength of the concrete. IS 456-2000
specifies the maximum water-cement ratio for reinforced cement concrete for different degrees
of exposure. The suggested ratios are: 0.55 for mild exposure and 0.40 for extreme exposure.

Properties of Green Concrete

- Bleeding, Workability, Segregation, Harshness

Bleeding of concrete:
When there is excess of quantity of water in the mix, water along with cement particles will rise
to the top surface of freshly laid concrete. This is called bleeding. This can be due to excess
compaction also. Bleeding causes formation of pores in the concrete making it weak.

Workability of concrete
Workability is defined as he relative ease with which concrete can be mixed, transported, placed
and compacted in position.
Factors affecting workability:

Amount of cement & water

Aggregate Grading
Nature of Aggregate Particles (Shape, Surface Texture, Porosity etc.)
Method of transport, placing and compaction of concrete
Temperature of the concrete mix
Humidity of the environment

Tests for determining workability

The most popular tests are: Slump test and Compacting Factor test


Slump test:
The test is carried out using a mould as shown the figure below. The cone is placed on a hard nonabsorbent surface. This cone is then filled with fresh concrete in three layers. Each layer is tamped
using a rod of standard dimensions. At the end of the third stage, concrete is struck off flush to the
top of the mould. The mould is then carefully lifted vertically upwards. This subsidence is termed as
slump and is measured in mm.
Recommended slumps for various works are:
Normal RCC work

80 to 150 mm

Mass Concrete

25 to 50 mm

Compacting factor test


Place the concrete sample in the upper hopper to its top edge and level it.

Cover the cylinder

Open the trap door at the bottom of the upper hopper. The concrete will fall in to the
lower hopper

Open the trap door of the lower hopper and allow the concrete to fall in to the cylinder

Remove the surplus concrete above the top level of cylinder and level it.

Weigh the cylinder with concrete. This weight is known as the weight of partially
compacted concrete (w1).

- Empty the cylinder and then refill it with the same concrete mix in layers; compact each
layer and then level the surface.
- Weigh the cylinder with fully compacted concrete. This weight is known as the weight of
fully compacted concrete (w2).
- Find the weight of empty cylinder (w).
Compaction Factor = (w1- w2) / (w2-w)
When concrete is dropped from a slightly more height, separation of coarser particles take
place. This is known as segregation. Segregation causes reduction of strength. Segregation
can be reduced by Reducing the quantity of water and by Restricting the height of pouring
Harshness is defined to the resistance offered by freshly laid concrete to surface finishing. This
can be due to insufficient quantity of water, lesser quantity of cement and use of poorly graded


Advantages of Concrete
Refer to para above- Properties of concrete

Disadvantages of Concrete
- Plain cement concrete is weak in tension
- Self weight of concrete is relatively high

- It requires considerable time in manufacturing, transporting, laying, compacting and curing of


Certain materials are added to the concrete to improve its properties. These are called
Accelerators: Some times it will be necessary to have the strength of concrete developed
quickly. For this, certain chemicals are added. Calcium chloride, aluminium chloride, sodium
carbonate etc are some of the chemicals added as accelerators. It has been found that the
addition of these chemicals reduce the strength of the concrete. As such its use must be closely
Retarders: These are added to get time in setting and hardening. In certain cases, concrete will
be made at one place and the same will have to be transported to another place. This may take
more time. In these cases, retarders are added to delay the setting of concrete. Gypsum is a
good retarder.
Plasticizers: These are added to the concrete to make it more plastic without further addition of
water. As such, the quantity of water required is less.
Air entraining agents: If the concrete contains some air in it in the form of air bubbles, its
durability and frost resistance can get improved. The compounds used for this purpose are
resins, aluminium and zinc powders.


Types of Concrete
Reinforced Cement Concrete (RCC): Ordinary concrete has not got the capacity to with
stand tensile stresses. As such, steel bars are introduced in the concrete to take up the tensile
stresses. Such concrete is called Reinforced Cement Concrete. The diameter of the bars, and
the number of bars will depend on the load the member is subjected to. In a building, beams,
slabs, columns, lintels etc are subjected to both compressive and tensile stresses and therefore
these are made of RCC..

Pre stressed Cement Concrete (PSC) In this, pre stressing is done by pulling the steel
wires. This will introduce compressive stresses in the concrete section enabling to take more
tensile stresses. With this system, thin sections carry more load. It is used for construction of
bridge girders poles, railway sleepers, pipes etc.

Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC): Ordinarily concrete is manufactured at the worksite itself.
But in case of ready mixed concrete (premix concrete), the concrete is prepared at a central
mixing plant. This ensures better quality control and also work can be done at a faster rate. At
certain locations there may not enough space at the work site to set up the plant. There, getting
concrete from a central plant will be more ideal.

Fibre Reinforced Concrete (FRC)

Fibers are inserted in the concrete to control cracking due to shrinkage. They also reduce
the permeability of concrete and also give greater impact resistance in concrete. Fibers do not
increase the flexural strength of concrete and so cannot replace structural steel reinforcement.
The amount of fibers added to a concrete mix is expressed as a percentage of the total volume of
the composite which may range from 0.1 to 3%. The fibres can be of polypropylene, nylon or steel.
Steel fibers can Improve structural strength, reduce steel reinforcement requirements,
improve ductility, reduce cracks and improve abrasion resistance.

Light Weight concrete

Light weight concrete is made by using lightweight aggregate. Lightweight aggregate may
consist of processed shale, clay, clinker, or other material. Aggregates which are very
absorptive may require pre-wetting prior to concrete batching. Lightweight concrete has a range
in unit weight from about 1280 to 1920 kg/m3 depending on the lightweight material used.
Where dead weight of the structure is to be reduced , this type of concrete is used.

Cellular Concrete:
Cellular Concrete is lightweight portland cement concrete containing a high percentage of gas
cells created by the addition of foaming agents. The density of this concrete may range from
320 to 1900 kg/m3 . This low density is due to the uniformly distributed non-contiguous air cells.
This also gives high workability and thermal conductivity. This concrete is generally used
where reduction of load is required.

Form work (Shuttering / centering)

Formwork is a temporary structure consisting of planks and supporting members, used as a
mould for pouring the fresh concrete. Once the concrete sets and hardens the form work is
removed. The construction of formwork takes time and involves expenditure which may go up to
20 to 25% of the cost of the structure . The operation of removing the formwork is known as
stripping. Stripped formwork can be reused. Stripping of beams and slabs are normally done
after three to seven days. Timber or steel sheets are used for formwork. A good formwork
should satisfy the following requirements:
It should be strong enough to withstand all types of loads
It should be rigidly constructed propped and braced both horizontally and vertically.
The joints in the formwork should be tight against leakage of cement paste.
Formwork should be so constructed that it should permit removal of various parts in desired
sequences without damage.
The material used in the formwork should be cheap.


Points to Ponder

Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, broken stone and water

Concrete is graded as M5, M10 etc where 5 and 10 are the strength of concrete
cubes (N / sq mm) after 28 days.

The different stages of manufacturing concrete are Batching, Mixing,

Transporting, Laying, Compacting and Curing

Curing is the process of keeping freshly laid concrete under wet conditions.

Workability is the ease with concrete can be laid

The workability is determined by Slump test or Compacting factor test

Form work is a temporary support so that the concrete can be laid over it.

Concrete is used for making Floors, Foundation bottom layer, Plastering of walls
and RCC.

There are different types of concrete like Light weight concrete, Fibre
reinforced concrete, Reinforced Cement concrete, Pre-stressed concrete, Rapid
hardening cement, Cellular concrete etc

Proportioning of concrete is the process of fixing the quantities of cement, sand

and broken stone so that concrete of required strength , durability and workability
is obtained

Water cement ratio is the amount water to be added to the cement to obtain
concrete of good workability and strength.

Certain chemicals are added to the concrete to improve its properties. These are
called admixtures.


Model Questions
1. What is cement concrete?

What are the steps of manufacturing cement?

3. What is water cement ratio?

4. What is workability of concrete?
5. Explain slump test.
6. What are the different types of concrete?
7. What is form work?
8. What is meant by curing of concrete?

9. What are the factors affecting concrete?

10. What is admixture?
11. What are retarders?


14.Iron & Steel

Iron ores are extracted from earth through mining. This is then melted in a blast furnace and pig
iron is generated. The pig iron is then remelted, impurities are removed and cast iron and
wrought iron are obtained. Cast iron may contain 2 to 4% carbon while wrought iron may
contain 0.15%.
Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon with small percentage of sulphur and phosphorus. The main
physical properties of steel are strength, elasticity and ductility. These properties are influenced
by the amount of carbon and the heat treatment.
Pig Iron: It is the basic form of iron. It is impure and raw. After further processing, cast iron,
wrought iron and steel are made.
Manufacture: The stages of manufacture are Selection of Ore, Dressing of ore, Calcination,
Roasting and Smelting
Selection of ore: Natural sources from which iron can be extracted are called iron ores.
Common iron ores are: Haematite, Siderite, Magnetite
Dressing of ore: The ore as it is extracted from the ground contains lot of impurities and also it is
in large lumps. The process of breaking the lumps and removing the impurities is called
Processing of ore: This is done in a blast furnace. Hot air is created and blast into the furnace
from bottom. The charge consisting of coke, ore and lime stone is introduced from the top. The
molten iron and impurities (slag) is collected at the bottom of the furnace and removed from
Cast Iron: Cast iron is essentially remelted pig iron. It contains about 2- 4% carbon and small
proportions of manganese, silicon and sulphur. The remelting is done in cupola furnace which is
similar to blast furnace but smaller in size. The raw materials pig iron, steel scrap, coke and
lime stone are introduced at the top to previously heated cupola furnace. Air is continuously
pushed inside. Impurities get oxidized and the slag formed floats on the surface.


The properties of cast iron are influenced by the amount of carbon and nature in which carbon
is present.
Properties of Cast Iron:
-Hard and brittle; Not ductile; Does not rust; Specific gravity 7.5; Shrinks on cooling; Weak in
Uses of cast Iron
For making columns, Pipes, Sewers, Man hole covers, Parts of machineries
Wrought Iron
It is the purest form of iron. Pig iron is heated in Puddling furnace. It is a small form of
reverbaratory furnace. The charge is heated to 1200 degree centigrade. The impurities form a
slag on the top surface which will be removed. Wrought iron is collected at the bottom.
Properties of wrought iron
High tensile strength, Malleable, Ductile and tough, Density 7.8 g /cubic cm.
Uses of Wrought Iron
For making plates, sheets, pipes, tubes, railway couplings
Steel is a variety of iron containing 0.1 to 1.5 % carbon . It is manufactured by three processes Bessemer process, Open hearth process and Electric process.

Types Steel

Percentage of carbon

1. Mild steel


2. Medium carbon steel

0.25% to 0.60%

3. High carbon steel

0.60% to 1.50%

Mild steel is generally used for various works-


Properties of Mild Steel

- it is strong in compression, tension and shear
- It can be welded and riveted
-It can be permanently magnetized
-It is ductile and malleable
-It is tough and elastic

Heat treatment
The process of heating the metal to high temperature and then cooling to room temperature is
called heat treatment. The main heat treatment processes are Annealing, Normalising,
Quenching and Tempering. This is done to improve the properties of steel.

Uses of mild steel

- For making structural shapes like angles, channels, sheets, flats etc
- As reinforcing bars in RCC
- For making various tools and machine pats
- For manufacturing roof covering sheets

Marketable forms of steel

The rolled steel sections commonly available in market are:
Angle, Channel, Round bar, Flat, I section, square bars etc. They are generally used in the
construction of roof trusses, transmission towers, beams, columns, foot over bridges, grillage
foundations etc.
The advantage in using these structural sections are they can be easily fabricated and erected
thus saving time and money.


Advantages of steel as a structural material

- High strength
- Long life
-Can be readily fabricated, erected and dismantled
- Steel pipes are gas and water tight

Disadvantages of steel as a structural material

- High cost
- Likely to be corroded
- Low fire resistance


Points to Ponder

* Metals are classified under two categories - Ferrous metals and Non-ferrous metals
* Cast iron, Steel etc are ferrous metals
* Aluminium and its alloys come under non - ferrous metals
*Pig iron is the basic form of iron. It is manufactured in three stages Selection of ore,
Dressing of ore, Blast furnace treatment.
* The main iron ores are Haematite, Magnetite, Siderite
* The iron ores are extracted from earth (mines)
* The process of removal of impurities and the reduction in size is called dressing.
*The charge consisting of ore, coke and lime stone is introduced at the top of furnace, and
heated air is blast from the bottom.


The molten iron and impurities are collected from the bottom.
Cast iron is remelted pig iron. The remelting is done in cupola furnace.
The raw materials are pig iron, steel scraps, fuel and fluxes.
Cast iron is used in Agricultural machinery, Railway equipments ,Automobile
Wrought iron is the purest form of iron. There are two forms of manufacture of
Wrought iron Puddling process and Aston process
The important properties of Wrought iron are Strength, ductility, malleability
and toughness
It is used for making plates, sheets, pipes, tubes etc
Steel is a type of iron containing 0.1 to 1.5 % carbon
Steel is manufactured by Bessemer process, Open hearth process and Electric
Plain carbon steel is divided into three categories Low carbon steel, Medium
carbon steel and High carbon steel.
The process of heating the metal to high temperature and then cooling to room
temperature is called heat treatment.
The main heat treatment processes are Annealing, Normalising, Quenching
and tempering.

Model Questions

1.What are the two classifications of metal?

2.What are the three stages of manufacture of pig iron?
3.What are the uses of cast iron?
4.What are the important properties of wrought iron?
5. What are the classifications of plain carbon steel?
6. What is meant by heat treatment?
7.What are the uses of steel?
8. What are the main marketable forms of steel?
9. What are the advantages of steel as a structural material?
10. What are the properties of mild steel?



Reinforced Cement Concrete

As mentioned earlier, plain cement concrete is weak in tension but strong in compression. A
structural member is normally subjected to both compression and tension. Therefore steel bars
are embedded in concrete to take up the tensile stresses. The diameter of the bars and number
of bars will depend on the span of the member and the loads subjected to it. Such a concrete is
called reinforced cement concrete.

Advantages of RCC
The advantages of RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) are.
1. Reinforced Cement Concrete can withstand both compressive stress and tensile stress .
2. It has good fire resistance and weather resistance.
3. RCC protects steel bars from buckling and twisting at high temperature.
4. RCC prevents steel from rusting.
5. RCC is durable.
6. Maintenance cost of RCC is practically nil.

Disadvantages of RCC
1. The structure of RCC is comparatively heavier
2. It takes more time to construct a member with RCC as it involves form work,
mixing of cement, aggregates and water, transporting, placing, compacting and curing

4.It requires good expertise in designing and constructing the structure

Reinforcement Details

The figure shows the arrangement of steel bars in a RCC beam. The tensile reinforcement bars
are provided at the bottom, the anchor bar is provided at the top. The stirrups bind the bars.
The diameter and the number of bars will depend on the span and the load to be carried.

Precautions in RCC works

- Shuttering should be strong.
- The diameter of the bar, number of bars and spacing should be as per the design and
- The overlap length should be 50 times the diameter of the bar
- The steel bars should have the cover as prescribed in IS 456.
-The main reinforcement should be on the tension side of the member

Fibre Reinforced Concrete

Fibre reinforced concrete is one in which fibres of steel, nylon, asbestos, coir or, glass are
inserted. This type of concrete has the capability to resist cracks. This is used in manufacturing
door and window frames, pipes and manhole covers, wearing coats of roads, shell roofs.


Ferro Cement concrete

Ferro cement concrete is one in which wire mesh of metal or any other suitable material is
embedded The main properties of ferro-cement concrete are: capacity to resist shock loads,
impervious, attractive finish like teak or rosewood, construction with out form work. The uses of
ferro cement are Partition walls, window frames, window shutters, water tanks, pipes, man
hole covers, furniture etc.

Pre- stressed concrete (PSC)

Since concrete has low tensile strength, cracks may develop in the tensile zone of such
structural members. Pre-stressing is done by stressing the steel wires. Concrete in tensile zone
only helps to hold the steel wires in position. Pre- stressing helps in utilizing the strength of
concrete in tensile zone also. In pre- stressed concrete tension is completely eliminated in
concrete. Hair like cracks are eliminated. Therefore more durability is obtained. The deflections
are less in PSC members and fatigue strength is high. The disadvantage is that elaborate
arrangements are required for pre-tensioning / post tensioning. PSC is commonly used for
bridge girders, railway sleepers, poles.


Points to Ponder

Cement concrete in which steel bars are embedded is called reinforced cement
Ordinary cement concrete cant take tensile stresses.
It has got good fire resistance and weather resistance.
Now a days all structural members like beams, slabs, columns, lintels etc are
manufactured with RCC.
RCC members are quite heavy, it takes more time to construct and it requires
form work.

Model questions


What is RCC?
What are the advantages of RCC?
What are the precautions to be taken in RCC works?
What is ferro cement concrete?
What is pre stressed concrete?
Where pre stressed concrete is used?
What is fibre reinforced concrete?


Timber is wood for engineering purposes. Timber is one such building material which is being
used from time immemorial to construct huts, buildings and make furniture, boats etc. But
recently due to paucity of timber coupled with its high cost, its use has been drastically
reduced. Large scale felling of trees leads to environmental problems. As such, its use is being
discouraged while recommending alternate materials to timber.
Classification of trees: For engineering purposes, trees are classified according to their mode
of growth:
.a) Endogenous b) Exogenous
a). Endogenous trees: These type of trees is largely confined to tropical semitropical regions.
Timber from these trees has very limited engineering applications. Example of endogenous
tress is: - Palm, Bamboo.
b). Exogenous trees: These trees grow outwards and annual rings are formed in the horizontal
section of such a tree. Exogenous trees are further subdivided into Conifer (evergreen) trees
and Deciduous trees. Conifer trees have pointed leaves and their leaves fall when new ones
are grown up. Deciduous trees have broad leaves. e g : Teak, Mahogany
Classification of Wood
Wood can be divided into two groups: a) Hard wood: Teak b). Soft wood: Deodar
The classification is based on: Strength (strong, weak), Colour (dark, light), Fire resistance
(moderate, poor), Medullary rays (distinct, less distinct), Weight (heavy, light).


Cross section of a tree trunk

Pith (Medulla): It is the inner most part of a tree. When the tree becomes old, the pith
disappears and becomes fibrous and dark. It varies in size and shape.
Heart Wood: This is the portion surrounding pith. It is dark in colour and strong. This portion is
useful for various engineering purposes. It consists of several annular rings.
Sap Wood: It is the layer next to heart wood. It denotes recent growth and contains sap. As the
trees grow, sap moves in upward direction.
Cambium Layer: It is a thin layer of fresh sap lying between sap wood and the inner bark. It
contains sap which is not yet converted into sap wood. If the bark is removed and cambium
layer is exposed to atmosphere, cells cease to be active and tree gets extinct..
Inner Bark: It is an inner skin of tree protecting the cambium layer.
Outer Bark: It is the outer skin of the tree and consists of wood fibres.
Medullary Rays: These are thin radial fibres extending from pith to cambium layer. They hold
annular rings together. In some of trees they are broken and some other they may not be so


Properties of Timber
Strength: Timber should have high strength in bending, shear and direct compression.
Fire resistance: A good timber should have high resistance to fire.
Hardness: Harder timbers are strong and durable.
Warping: Good timber should not warp under changes in environmental conditions.
Toughness: Timber should be capable of resisting shocks.
Density: Higher density indicates stronger timber.
Workability: Timber should be easily workable.
Durability: Good timber should be capable of resisting the attack of fungi and insects
Defects: Good timber should be free from defects like dead knots, shakes
Colour: It should be uniform.
Odour: When freshly cut, the odour should be pleasant
Soundness: When struck, it should give a clear ringing sound
Texture: Texture of good timber is fine and even.
Abrasion: Good timber should not deteriorate due to wear. This property is of importance when
it is used for flooring.
Permeability: Good timber should have low water permeability.


Seasoning of Timber
Fresh timber may contain moisture. The process of removal of moisture from wood is called
drying of wood or seasoning of wood. This reduces the chances of decay, improves load
bearing properties, reduces weight, makes the timber workable, and improves thermal &
electrical insulation properties.
Methods of Seasoning

-Natural seasoning
-Artificial seasoning
Natural Seasoning

Air Seasoning
Air seasoning is the traditional method for drying wood. Air seasoning , takes about nine to ten
months. For this, logs of wood are stacked in open air in such a manner that air can circulate all
around the timbers. The timber pieces should be kept away from vegetation and damp ground.
The stack should be properly covered.

Water seasoning
In this method, the cut pieces of wood are kept in the running water of a river for about two to
four weeks. The sap will be washed away during this period. The cut pieces are then taken out
of water and allowed to dry in air.
Natural seasoning is simple, cheap and does not require skilled supervision. But the drying of
different surfaces may not be uniform and also the space required for stacking is quite large.
Artificial seasoning
The artificial methods of seasoning are: Boiling, Chemical seasoning, Kiln seasoning and
Electrical seasoning.
Seasoning by boiling: The timber is kept immersed in water in a vessel. The water is heated to
boiling temperature. It is kept boiling for four to five hours. The timber is then taken out of water
allowed to dry in air.
Chemical seasoning: The timber pieces are quoted with a chemical solution like sodium
chloride, sodium nitrate or urea. Then the timber is exposed to natural drying.


Kiln seasoning: The timber pieces are dried in specially designed kiln. Here there is perfect
control over temperature, humidity and circulation of air. The process is comparatively costly but
the quality of seasoning is quite high.
Electrical seasoning: .High alternating current is passed through green timber pieces. The heat
generated dries out the moisture. This technique is costly as costly equipments are to be
installed and also the consumption of electricity is high.
Comparison of Natural Seasoning and Artificial Seasoning
In natural seasoning, it is difficult to control moisture content, while in artificial seasoning the
moisture can be reduced to any extent.
Natural seasoning is simple and economical while artificial seasoning is comparatively costlier.
Natural seasoning is a slow process while artificial seasoning is fast.
Natural seasoning requires more space while for artificial seasoning the requirement of space is
Defects in timber
The defects which are likely to occur in timber are due to:
(i) Natural forces
(ii) Defective seasoning
(iii) Conversion
(iv) Attack of insects and fungi
The natural forces cause the following defects. Knots, Shakes, Wind cracks, Upsets
a) Knots: When branches are cut off or broken from the tree, knots are formed. Knots are dark
and hard spots. Grains are distorted in this portion. Figure below shows some varieties of knots.
If the knot is intact with surrounding wood, it is called live knot. If it is not held firmly it is dead
(decayed) knot.


b) Shakes: The shakes are cracks in the timber which are caused due to excessive heat,
frost or twisting due to wind during the growth of a tree. Depending upon the shape and the
positions shakes, are classified as star shake, cup shake, ring shakes and heart shakes.

c) Wind Cracks: These are the cracks on the outside of a log due to the shrinkage of the
exterior surface. They appear as shown in Fig. below.


Upsets: Figure shows a typical upset in a timber. This defect is due to high compression in
the tree when it was young. Upset is an injury by crushing. This is also known as rupture.



Defects due to Defective Seasoning: If seasoning is not uniform, the converted timber may
warp and twist in different directions and even cracks may appear. This type of defect is more
(iii) Defects due to Conversion
During conversion of timber to commercial sizes and shapes, the following defects are likely to
occur: chip marks, torn grain, diagonal grain etc.
(iv) Defects due to Fungi and Insects Attack: Fungi are very complex multi cellular
organisms. These attack wood when the moisture content is above 20%.. Wood becomes weak
Beetles, marine borers and termites (white ants) are the insects which eat wood and weaken
the timber.

Common Indian timber

Aini: It is strong and yellowish brown in colour. It is used for doors, windows, rafters, purlins,
furniture etc.
Bamboo: It is an endogenous tree. Bamboo is generally used for thatched roofs, scaffoldings
Mahagony: It is reddish brown in colour, durable and possesses good workability. It is used for
doors, windows, furniture, ship building and railway sleepers. The forests are there in Kerala,
Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Mysore.
Coconut: It is reddish in colour, difficult to saw, outer portion hard and inner portion soft. It is
used for posts, furniture and form work.
Teak: The teak wood is hard, strong, and durable. Teakwood is suitable for all types of
structural work, furniture , railway sleepers etc.
Irul: It is strong, durable and hard wood with less workability. It is used for railway sleepers,
agricultural tools.
Jack: It is yellow coloured, lacks workability. It is used for door frames, and panels, furniture.
Mango: It is moderately strong and workable. It is generally used for furniture, door and
window panels and packing boxes.

Rosewood: It is strong, hard, durable and costly. It is used for furniture and ornamental
Sal: Sal is hard and close-grained. It is of dark brown colour. It is durable and can resist
termites attack. It is used in building construction, bridge construction and ship building. It is
found in U P Bihar and Assam.
Tamarind: It is durable, dark brown coloured. It is used for form work in concrete construction.

Preservation of Timber
The purpose of applying preservatives on the surface is to protect the timber from the attack of
insects and fungi and thus prolong the life of the components / systems made of timber.
The different methods of preservation are:
Painting, Tarring, Creosoting, Application of ASCU powder developed by Forest Research
Institute of India.

Type of timber suitable for various purposes

Door and Window frames-

Rosewood, Teak, Jack

Door and window panels-

Jack, Mango, Teak


Rosewood, Teak, Mango, Jack

Form work

Mango, Coconut tree

Packing case


Railway sleepers

Teak, Irul

Special Timber Products

Veneer (Ply): Veneer is a thin sheet of timber with a maximum thickness of 6mm. They are
made out of timber logs by sawing, slicing or rotary cutting. Veneers are used for the
manufacture of plywood and laminated board.
Ply wood: It is a special type of processed wood containing thin sheets (plies) glued together.
Plywood panels may consist of any odd number of plies. It is extensively used in various civil
engineering applications like roofs, furniture, ceilings etc.
Laminated timber: It is another type of processed wood. In this selected wood sheets (veneers),
are glued together in such a way grains of all sheets are parallel longitudinally. It is
manufactured in three grades Industrial, Architectural, and Premium grades.


Fibre boards: These are made by pressing together fibrous materials which are first heated and
pressed hard. On cooling, a rigid material of light density is obtained. These are used for flush
doors, wall panels, insulation boards etc.

Points to Ponder

Timber is wood for engineering purposes

Timber is obtained from trees
Trees are of two types Exogeneous and Endogeneous
Exogeneous trees are further classified as conifer (evergreen) and deciduous
Another classification is soft wood and hard wood
The main parts of a tree are Roots, Stem (trunk) and Crown (branches and


The cross section of a tree shows the following components Bark, cambium
layer, sap wood, annual rings, heart wood, medullary rays, pith.
The factors to be taken into account before felling a tree are age of tree, time /
season of felling, method of felling.
Conversion is the process of cutting and sawing the wood for planks, battens etc.
Seasoning is the process of removing moisture from freshly cut timber.
A defect is an irregularity or abnormality in or on the wood which may lower its
strength, durability or utility.
Timber is said to be decayed if it loses its value as an engineering material.
Preservation of timber is done to protect it from attack of insects, fungi etc.
The common tests conducted on timber are to ascertain compressive strength,
moisture content, specific gravity, shrinkage and swelling

Model questions
1 What are the different types of trees?
2. Draw the cross section of a trunk of a tree and mark the parts?
3. What is seasoning? What are the different methods of seasoning?
4. What are the defects found in timber?
5. Suggest suitable types of timber for: Furniture, Door and Window frames and panels, Railway
sleepers, Packing cases
6. What is seasoning of wood?
7.What are the special timber products?
8. What are the common Indian timbers?
9. What is conversion of wood?
10. What are the main properties of wood?


Building construction


17.Selection of the site for a building

There are many factors which must be taken in to account while selecting a site for a commercial,
industrial l or a residential building. Some of these factors are given below.

Purpose of the building

Shape of the Plot
Location of the plot
Availability of amenities
Water Table

A. Residential Building

1.Purpose of the building

First the purpose for which the building is being constructed should be identified. If it is for
residential purpose, it is ideal that the building is away from main business centre of the city. If
it is for a factory, it should be near to a place where raw materials are available in the vicinity.

2. Shape of the plot:

Geometry of the plot for any kind of construction is very important which can largely effect the
appearance of the structure. Shape of the plot should be such that the construction can be easily
made with out incurring much expenditure. And also there must be space for future expansions.

3. Location of the plot:

The site should be located in a fully developed place. It is desirable that there are no major
industries in the vicinity so that the environment is not polluted. The site should be slightly elevated
so that there is no chance for stagnation of water. The soil at the site should be of good quality so
that the bearing capacity of it is comparatively high.


4. Availability of Amenities:
Plot for a residential building should be taken in the area provided with amenities like electricity,
telephone, Internet, Gas, School, Colleges, University, Hospital etc Another important facility is the
good and fast transport system..

5. Availability of Water:
The water should be available from wells in the vicinity or other wise it must be available through
pipes provided by local government agencies.

6.Orientation of the site: Orientation of the site has some bearing on its selection. Site should
be such that early morning sun and late evening sun is available in the building.
7. Good Landscape: The site should have a good landscape to promote a peaceful and serene
8. Good surroundings: For a happy and comfortable living, the residents in the neighbourhod
should be of almost equal status.
B. Industrial Building
1. The factory site should be away from residential locality.
2. There must be space for future expansion
3. Raw materials should be available in the neighbor hoods.
4. It is preferable that the site is on an elevated plot so that the rain water will not get stagnated.
5. The site should be well connected by road, rail and air.
6. Electric power is readily available.
7. There must be facility for treatment of the effluent before discharging out.
8. Availability of local trained labour


C. Educational Building:
1. The site should be away from the main city centre
2. The site should be well connected by road
3. The surroundings should be neat and clean with out noise pollution
4. Drinking water should be available through out the year
5. It is preferable that the building site is slightly elevated so that water will not get stagnated
6. Natural light is available
7. There must space for play ground as well as for future expansion.


18.Setting out of a Building Plan On Ground

Before starting the excavation for the foundation, the centre line and outline of excavation
should be clearly marked on the ground.

Fig.1: Example plan to be set out on the ground

1. From the plan (fig 1), the centre line of the walls are calculated. Then the centre lines of the
rooms are set out by setting perpendiculars in the ratio 3:4:5. Suppose the corner points are A,
B, C, D, E, F and G which are marked by pegs with nails on top.
2. The setting of the corner point is checked according to diagonals AC, BD, CF and EG.
3. During excavation, the centre points A,B,C,D,E,F,G may be removed. Therefore the centre
lines are extended and the centre points are marked about 2m away from the outer edge of
excavation. Thus the points A1, A2, B1, B2 and like wise, are marked outside the trench. Centre
line are shown clearly by stretching thread or rope. The centre points fixed 2m away from the
excavation are marked with sit out pegs.


4. From the plan details, the width of excavation to be done is also marked by thread with pegs
at appropriate positions.
5. The excavation width is then marked with lime or with furrow by spade.
See the video clip for setting out a building-Part 1,2,3
For detailed information about setting out visit the site:


19. Stone Masonry

Stone masonry refers to the construction of various structures like buildings, compound walls,
retaining walls etc using blocks of stone joined together with mortar.
Materials for stone masonry
The materials required for stone masonry are: Mortar, Stones
Mortar: Mortar consists of binding material and sand in specified proportions. The binding
material may be mud, lime or cement. Generally cement sand mortar (1: 3) is used for stone
Stones for the Masonry
Granite: It is of igneous rock, strong and durable. It is available in Kerala, Karnataka, Kashmir,
UP, MP, Punjab, Assam etc.
Sandstone: It is of sedimentary rock. It is easy to work and sufficiently strong. These stones are
available in almost all states of India.
Marble: This is of metamorphic rock. They are available in different colours and are available in
Rajasthan and Maharashtra.
Laterite: This is found in coastal areas of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and West Bengal.
When freshly cut, they will be soft but in due course hardens on exposure to atmosphere. They
are porous and as such they must be plastered with cement mortar to protect it from rain.
Limestone This is of calcareous rock. It is available in different colours and is easy to work. It is
available in almost all states. It easily gets disfigured in acidic atmosphere.
Dressing of Stones
After quarrying, the stones are to be cut to proper size and surface finishing done. This process
is known as dressing. This may be done at the quarry site or construction site.
Types of stone masonry:
Stone masonry is of two types: 1. Rubble Masonry 2.Ashlar Masonry.

The masonry in which either undressed or hammer dressed stones are used is called random
rubble masonry. Random rubble masonry is divided into the following types:

Rubble Masonry
Un coursed random rubble masonry: The random rubble masonry in which stones are laid
without forming courses is known as un coursed random rubble masonry. This is the roughest
and cheapest type of masonry and is of varying appearance. The stones used in this masonry
are of different sizes and shapes. Before laying, all corners of stones are slightly knocked off.
Joints are filled with mortar and flushed. Large stones are used at corners and at jambs to
increase their strength. Through stone is used for every square meter of the face area for joining
faces and backing.

Suitability: Used for construction of walls of low height in case of ordinary buildings.
Coursed random rubble masonry: The random rubble masonry in which stones are laid in
layers of equal height is called coursed random rubble masonry. In this masonry, the stones are
laid in somewhat level courses. Headers of one coursed height are placed at certain intervals.
The stones are hammer dressed.
Suitability: Used for construction of residential buildings, godowns, boundary walls etc.

Square Rubble Masonry : In this type of masonry, stones are given straight bed and sides by
hammer dressing.
Polygonal Rubble Masonry: In this type of masonry, stones are arranged in such a manner to
give a polygonal shape. The stones are hammer dressed.
Flint Rubble Masonry: In this type of masonry flints of varying thickness and length are used.
The thickness may range from 50 mm to 75 mm and length from 150 mm to 300 mm.
Dry Rubble Masonry: In this rubble masonry stones are laid without using any mortar. It is an
ordinary masonry and is recommended for constructing walls of height not more than 6m.
(compound walls)

Dry Rubble


Ashlar Masonry

In Ashlar masonry, finely dressed stones are laid in cement or lime mortar. The courses are of
uniform height, all the joints are regular, and have uniform thickness. Since the stones are to be
properly dressed, it takes time and as such is this type of masonry is more costly. This masonry
is mainly used for architectural buildings, abutments of bridges etc.
Ashlars masonry is further sub divided into the following types:

Ashlar fine tooled masonry

Random course ashlars masonry
Rough tooled ashlar masonry
Rock or quarry faced ashlars masonry
Chamfered ashlars masonry
Block in course masonry
Ashlar facing

- Ashlar fine tooled masonry: In this type of stone masonry, stone blocks of same height in
each course are used. Every stone is fine tooled on all sides. Thickness of mortar is uniform
through out. It is an expensive type of stone masonry as it requires more skilled labour
Wastage of material while dressing is also more.
- Random coursed ashlar masonry: This type of ashlar masonry consists of fine or coursed
ashlar. The courses are of different thicknesses, depending upon the type of the building.


Coursed Ashlar
- Rough tooled ashlar masonry: In this type of ashlar masonry the sides of the stones are
rough tooled and dressed with chisels. Thickness of joints is uniform.
- Rock or quarry faced ashlar masonry: This type of ashlar masonry is similar to rough tooled
type but the margin is left rough on the face.
- Chamfered ashlar masonry: It is similar to quarry faced. But the edges are bevelled or

Chamfered Ashlar
- Block-in course masonry: It is a type of ashlar masonry which is in-between rubble and
ashlar. The stones are all squared and properly dressed. It resembles to coursed rubble
masonry or rough tooled ashlar masonry.
- Ashlar facing: Ashlar facing is the best ashlar masonry. This type of masonry is very
expensive. So it is commonly used in works of great importance and strength. For economy
the facing is built in ashlar and the rest in rubble.
Quality control of stone masonry construction

- Stones should be hard and durable and free from cavities.

- Stones should be laid on their natural bed
- Stones should be immersed in water before use.
- Verticality of the wall should be checked.
- Vertical joints should be staggered.
- The height of the masonry should be raised uniformly
- Mortar used should be of correct proportion


Maintenance of Stone Masonry

- In course of time, cracks may develop in the masonry. Small cracks should be cleaned by wire
brush, and then filled with cement paste. If the cracks are wider, first remove the loose material
and then fill it with 1:2 cement mortar.
- Due to leakage of water through masonry, sometimes layers of white soluble salts get
deposited on the surface of masonry. This should be removed by scrubbing with a brush and
- To prevent leakage of water through masonry, waterproofing materials should be applied on
the surface.
- Oil stains should be removed by scrubbing with benezene or petrol.

Points to Ponder


Stone masonry means construction of structures using stone blocks and mortar.
Mortar is a mixture of binding material and sand.
The binding material can be mud, lime or cement.
The common types of stones used in India are granite, marble, laterite, sand
stone, slate.
The cutting the sharp corners of stone blocks, cutting it to proper size and giving
the finishing touch is called dressing.
There are mainly two types of masonry rubble masonry and ashlar masonry.
In ashlar masonry, stones are cut to proper size , sharp corners removed and
finishing touch is given while in random rubble masonry stones of irregular
shapes are used.
Proper quality control should be followed during the construction.
The following maintenance works are suggested for old masonry water
proofing, removal of efflorescence, removal of stains and repair of cracks.

Model Questions
1. Define masonry.
2. What are the two types of masonry?
3. What are the main building stone blocks used in stone masonry?
4. What is dressing?
5. Explain quality control of masonry construction
6. How should stone masonry be maintained?


20. Brick Masonry

Bricks were used from time immemorial for construction of buildings. Even now bricks are being
used as a construction material to a large extent. Brick masonry is constructed with brick and
mortar. The mortar can be of mud, lime or cement. Bricks are manufactured by moulding clay to
proper size, drying and then burning in kilns. The standard size of bricks is 190 x 90 x 40 mm.
Some Definitions
Stretcher: It is a brick with its length in the direction of the wall.
Header: A brick is called a header if its shorter side is exposed.
Closer: It is the portion of the brick cut in the longitudinal direction.

Queen closer: It is a half brick in the longitudinal direction.

King closer: It is a portion of a brick with one corner chopped off.
Bevelled closer: It is a portion of a brick with one portion removed as shown in the sketch
Bull nose Brick: Bull nose brick is a special type of brick which has one, some or all of its
corners rounded off. These bricks are used to create soft and attractive curved edges to steps,
sills, or in capping walls.
Bat: It is a portion of a brick cut across its width. The length of the brick may be half or threefourth of its original length.

Bond is the method of arranging the bricks so that the individual bricks are joined together in
layers (courses) and that the vertical joints do not come in the same line.
Rules for bonding:
The lap should be at least th brick along the length and brick across the thickness of wall.
Brick bats should be used for the minimum.
All bricks should be of same size and shape.
The vertical joints in alternate layers should be in the same line.
13.4 Method of brick laying
Brick laying is an art. Only a skilled mason can do the work efficiently. First clean the surface
over which the wall is to be built. Then spread 15 mm thick cement mortar over the area. The
corner of the wall is marked. The first brick is laid at the corner over the mortar and pressed
well. The other bricks are laid subsequently. The corners are raised first and then the inbetween portion is raised.
13.5 Types of Brick Bonds
The different types of brick bonds are:
1. English-bond
2. Flemish bond,
3. Stretching bond,
4. Heading bond,
5. Garden wall bond,
6. Facing bond,
7. Raking bond,
8. Dutch bond,
9. English cross-bond,
10. Zig-Zag bond,
11. Silver locks bond.

English Bond
English bond consists of alternate courses of headers and stretches. In the English bond
arrangement, vertical joints in the header courses come over each other while the vertical joints
in the stretcher course are also in the same line. For the breaking of vertical joints in the
successive course it is essential to place a queen closer, after the first header in each heading
Walls having their thickness equal to an even number of half bricks, i.e., one brick thick wail, 2
brick thick wall, 3 brick thick wall and so on, present the same appearance on both the faces,
i.e. a course consisting of headers on front face will show headers on the back face also.
Isometric view of 1 brick wall in English bond , and plans of 1, 1 , 2, 2 , 3 brick walls are
shown below,


See the video showing the procedure of laying bricks in English bond

Flemish Bond
In this arrangement, stretchers and headers are placed alternately in the same course. There
are two types of Flemish bond: 1.Double Flemish bond 2. Single Flemish bond
1 .Double Flemish Bond: In this type of bond, headers and stretchers are alternately placed in
each course in front as well as back. In the case of single Flemish bond, the front is made in
Flemish bond and back in English bond.


Comparison of English bond and Flemish bond


The Flemish bond has a better appearance than English bond

The strength of a wall in English bond is more than that of a wall in Flemish bond
The construction cost of Flemish bond is more

See the video showing the procedure of laying bricks in English bond

3.Stretching bond:
In this arrangement, all the bricks are laid as stretchers. Each alternate course is commenced
with a half brick bat. Stretching bond is used for half brick wall only. This bond is also termed as
running bond It is commonly used for the construction of half brick thick leaves of cavity walls,
Partition walls etc.

4. Header bond :
In header bond all the bricks are laid as headers on the faces. The overlap is obtained by
keeping a three-quarter bat in each alternate course at quoins. This bond permits better
alignment. Therefore it is used for walls curved on plan.


5.Garden wall bond:
This type of bond is generally adopted for garden wall of one brick thick wall. This type of bond
is not strong as English bond. As such, it is used to construct dwarf walls or other similar types
of walls. .
There are two types of garden wall bond,
(a) English garden wall bond
(b) Flemish garden wall bond
(a) English garden wall bond. In this bond bricks are arranged in similar to that of English
bond. But the heading courses are inserted at every fourth or sixth course. Usually the
arrangement consists of one course of headers to three courses of stretchers.


(b) Flemish garden wall bond. In this, alternate course is of one header to three or five
stretchers in series. Each alternate course will have a three quarter bat placed next to the quoin
header and a header is laid over the middle of each central stretcher.

6.Facing bond:
This bond is adopted for thick walls, where the facing and backing are to be constructed with
bricks of different thicknesses. In this bond, heading and stretching courses are so arranged
that one heading course comes after several stretching courses. The number of joints in the
backing and the facing are different. This may cause unequal settlement of the of the wall.
7.Raking bond:
In this bond, bricks are laid at any angle other than zero or ninety degrees. This arrangement
increases the longitudinal stability of thick walls built in English bond. This bond is kept at
different intervals along the height of a wall.
(a) Herringhone-bond
(b) Diagonal bond.
(a) Herring-bone bond. This type of bond is ideal for very thick walls. In this, bricks are laid in
course inclined at 45 in two directions from the centre. This bond is also generally used for


(b) Diagonal bond. This bond is used for walls of 2 to 4 brick thick. This bond is kept at fifth or
seventh course along the height of the wall. The bricks arc kept end to end.

8.Dutch bond:
In this bond alternate courses are of headers and stretchers. Each stretching course starts at
the quoin with a three-quarter bat and every alternate stretching course has a header placed
next to the three-quarter brick bat at the quoin.


9.English cross-bond:
This is similar to English bond. But queen closer is introduced next to quoin headers and each










10. Zig-Zag bond:

This is similar to herring-bone bond. But the bricks are laid in a zig-zag fashion. This is
generally adopted for paved flooring.

Points to be observed in Brick Masonry

- Bricks should be of good quality
- Bricks should be soaked in water before laying
- Walls should be raised uniformly

- Brick masonry wall should be cured for about two weeks

- Verticality of the wall should be maintained
- Brick bats should be used for the bare minimum
- Hold fats of doors and windows should be embedded firmly in the wall
Comparison of Stone Masonry with Brick Masonry
Bricks are light
Thinner walls can be constructed with bricks
Dead weight of brick masonry is less
Strength of brick is less
Brick masonry has a tendency to absorb moisture

Stone blocks are heavy

Thinner walls cant be constructed
Dead weight is more
Strength is more
No tendency to absorb moisture

Defects in brick masonry


Poor quality bricks may absorb moisture, thus weakening the structure
With the absorption of moisture, the brickwork may swell.
When the brickwork comes in contact with water, white crystals may appear on
the surface creating a bad appearance.

By using inferior quality bricks, the structure may settle leading to cracks
In cold regions due to frost action , cracks can develop in brick construction

Points to Ponder


Brick masonry is the civil construction with bricks and mortar.

Bond is the method of arranging the bricks so that the individual bricks are
together in layers (courses) and that the vertical joints do not come in the same line.

There are different types of bonds; but the most common are English bond and Flemish
In English bond alternate courses are of headers and stretchers while in Flemish
bond in each course there are alternate stretchers and headers.
The main points to be observed in brick masonry works are use of good quality
bricks, mortar to be of proper mix, brick masonry to be cured for two weeks by
sprinkling water, bricks to be soaked in water before use.

Model Questions
1. Define stretcher and header.
2. What is bond?
3. What are the main bonds?
4. Compare brick masonry with stone masonry.
5. What are the main points to be observed in the brick masonry
6. What are the main defects in brick masonry?


21.Floors and Flooring Materials

A floor is the bottom surface of a room. In a building, there is the ground floor, first floor, second
floor like that. Floors may be of stone, wood, concrete or any other material that can support the
expected load. The levels of a building are often referred to as floors although a more proper term
is story. Floors typically consist of a subfloor for support and a floor covering used to give a good
walking surface.

Requirements of a floor
- It should be durable
- It should have an attractive finish
It should be impervious
- The floors should be strong enough to with stand the load
It should not be too costly
- The maintenance cost should not be high
It should have a level surface
Factors to be taken into the selection of flooring materials
Durability, Appearance, Damp resistance, Fire resistance, Resistance to abrasion, Initial cost
Types of Flooring
Mud, Brick, Cement Concrete, Terrazzo, Mosaic , Marble, Tile, Timber, Rubber, Linoleum
Construction of floor
Ground Floor
First the soil is compacted. A layer of broken stones or brick bats is then pressed into it. Then a
layer of concrete of 1:4:8 mix is laid for about 150 mm thick as base course. The floor finish is
then laid. The floor finish generally adopted is Terrazzo, Mosaic, Marble, Tiles, Timber.

Upper Floors
The upper floor are supported on walls and columns. The floors have to withstand self weight
and live load. Therefore they are designed for strength, limiting the deflection to the allowable
limits. The types of floorings are listed above.
Cement Concrete Flooring
The most commonly adopted flooring is of cement
concrete. For the construction of the floor, soil is first filled
up in the basement and compacted. Then the whole area
is divided into convenient sizes of squares or rectangles.
These bays are then filled with concrete, compacted and
finished smoothly. After curing, the floor is washed and

Mosaic Floor
First the base course of concrete is laid. Over which a layer of 3040 mm thick mortar is spread. Broken pieces of marble chips are
set on this layer. After drying for a day, the top surface is rubbed
with carborandum stone to get a polished surface.

Mosaic Floor
Timber Floor

Timber boards may be placed directly on the concrete bed or over

a timber frame work. Timber floor is costly. It is generally provided
in auditoriums.


Timber Floor

Tiled Floor

Tiles of clay, cement or terrazzo are manufactured in factories.

These tiles are fixed on a base of about 25-30 mm thick cement
mortar. Apply a layer of cement slurry on the sides and bottom of
the tile and then press it into the base of mortar. The next day,
the joints are cleaned filled up with coloured cement slurry.After
curing for seven days, grinding and polishing are done.

Tiled Floor
Maintenance and repair of concrete Floor
Cracks may develop in the floor. The cracks may be surface cracks or structural cracks, The
structural cracks may start from the base and extend to the surface while the surface cracks
may be in the surface only. Structural cracks are caused due to shrinkage, temperature
variations or settlement. For repairing structural cracks, that portion will have to chipped off and
then filled up with fresh concrete. Hair cracks can be repaired by filling it with some varnish.


Points to Ponder

Floor is that part of a building over which people stay and move.
The bottom most floor is the ground floor. The upper floors are there at the

correct levels as first floor , second floor like that.

The base floor is generally of cement concrete.

The floor finishes are of marble, tiles, stone, wood, rubber, mosaic, terrazzo etc.

Model Questions
1. What is a floor?
2. What are the requirements of a floor?
3. What are the common floor finishes?
4. What are the factors to be taken into the selection of flooring materials?
5. How is a concrete floor repaired?
6. Describe the procedure of construction of a concrete floor.


22.Roofs and Roofing Materials

Roof is the topmost part of a building. It serves as a cover protecting the inhabitants from rain,
sun and wind. The roof can be pitched or flat; tiled or of concrete.
Requirements of a good roof
It should be leak proof

It give protection from sun and rain

It should be durable

It should be fire resistant

It should be structurally stable

Types (Classification) of Roofs

Flat or terraced roofs

Sloping or pitched roofs
Folded plates or shell roofs

Flat roofs are used where rainfall is low to moderate, sloping roofs are used in places of heavy
rainfall. Folded plates and shell roofs are used to cover large column free areas such as
Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are horizontal but with a slight slope to drain out rain water.
-The roof can be converted into a floor by constructing another storey
-Over head water tanks and other services can be installed
-The roof can be used as a terrace for recreational purposes


- There is a chance for leakage of rainwater
- The dead weight is more
- The initial cost of construction is high

Construction time is more

Types of flat roofs

- RCC roofs


Madras terrace roofs

Bengal terrace roofs

Punjab terrace roofs

RCC roofs
These type roofs are commonly used now. The thickness of slab, diameter of bars, spacing of
bars etc will depend on the load and span of the room. A typical cross section of slab and plan
is shown in the above figure.
Pitched (sloping) roofs
Sloping roofs are adopted in places of heavy rain fall. It consists of a structure over which
roofing materials like tiles, GI sheets, AC sheets are fixed. The slope of the roof varies from 10
degrees to 60 degrees. This type of roofs are generally adopted for large span buildings like
factories, work shops, auditoriums etc.
There are three types of pitched roofs: Single, Double and Trussed roofs.
Single roofs: These roofs consist only common rafters which are fixed on to the wall plate and
ridge. There are four types of single roofs Lean-to roof, Couple roof, Couple- close roof,
Collar-beam roof

Couple close roof

Lean to roof

Double roofs: These roofs are also known as purlin roofs. The purlins act as intermediate
supports to rafters.


Purlin Roof
Trussed Roof:
A truss is a triangulated system of straight interconnected structural elements The external
forces applied to the system and the reactions at the supports are generally applied at the
nodes. The principal force in each element in a truss is axial tension or compression. For
shorter spans wooden trusses and for larger spans steel trusses are used. Tiles, GI sheets are
used as covering over the roof truss. There are different types of trusses but the most common
trusses are- King post truss and Queen post truss.


Steel Truss

Steel Truss v/s Timber truss

In olden times mainly wooden trusses were used. But now, due to scarcity of timber and
its high cost, steel trusses are being used. Steel truss have the following advantages


They can be fabricated in any shape

They can be easily erected
They are stronger and durable
They are fireproof

No chance for attack of thermites

They are of light weight

Roof covering for pitched roof

Tiles, Thatch (straw), Slates, AC sheets, GI sheets
Folded plate and Shell roofs
Folded plate roof is a slab with a number of folds.

Folded Plate roof

Shell Roof

Shell roofs are curved roofs. These can be built to cover large areas with out columns.
Comparison of shell roof with conventional roof
-Shell roofs have good aesthetic view
-Less material is required
- Large column free area can be obtained
- Form work can be removed early
-Analysis of shell roof more tedious
-Form work is costly
-The top surface is curved


Comparison of shell roof with folded plate roof

-Folded plate requires simple frm work
-Design of folded plate is simple
-Movable form work can be employed
-Folded plate roof requires more material than shell roof

Points to Ponder

Roof is the topmost part of a building. It protects the inhabitants from rain, sun,
wind etc.
There are three types of roofs Sloping, Flat and shell & folded plate
Flat roofs are generally made of reinforced cement concrete.
Sloping roofs are covered with tiles, slates, GI / Asbestos sheets
Truss is a frame work of slender members
The more popular wooden trusses are King post and Queen post truss
Now a days trusses are of steel rather than timber
For column free halls, folded plate /shell roofs are adopted
Model Questions

1. What is a roof?
2. What are the types of roofs?
3. What is a king post truss?
4. Compare steel truss roof with timber truss?
5. What is a folded plate truss?
6. What are the materials commonly used for covering sloping roof?


In compiling this text, a large number of publications from the print media as well as from
the internet have been referred to and the same is kindly acknowledged herewith.


About the Author

Ramachandran V is presently working as Professor of Civil Engineering, KMCT College of
Engineering, Kozhikode. He has five decades of experience in teaching, design and
construction of Buildings, Roads, Railways, Software Development & Training. Earlier he has
worked for Research Designs and Standards Organisation, (Ministry of Railways) Lucknow,
RITES ( A Government of India Undertaking), New Delhi, CRIS (A Government of India
Undertaking), New Delhi and SNTF ( Government of Algeria).He has taken M Tech in Civil
Engineering from HBTI, Kanpur and Diploma in Expert Systems from M I University, Iowa,
USA. He is a Member of the Institution of Engineers (India), Indian Geotechnical Society,
Computer Society of India and Institute of Rail Transport. He has published few papers in print
media as well as web sites.