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CE5010: Modern Construction Materials

First Assignment:
Part 1: List of materials used in construction:
a) Materials that are commonly used in construction:
Concrete: Concrete is the most used construction material in the world. It is one of
the most durable building materials, more resistant to fire than steel frame
structure and very strong to compression.
Concrete is made from composition of fine aggregate, coarse aggregate, a binder
usually cement and water. Sometimes chemical admixtures are added to achieve
varied properties. Most commonly used concrete is Portland cement concrete.
Cement: Cement is the most commonly used binder in concrete. Most common of
them is Portland cement. It is also used in mortar, grout and in other cement
Limestone: In concrete there are two types of aggregates used, fine and coarse
aggregate. Most commonly used coarse aggregate in construction is limestone.
Sand: Sand is used most commonly as fine aggregate in creating concrete. It is also
used in earthwork fill material. It is used to prepare mortar for masonry work and
Bricks: Bricks and mortars are commonly used materials in masonry work.
Common burnt clay F.P.S (non modular) bricks are used in foundation and plinths
using cement mortar generally in 1:6 ratio (1 cement: 6 course sand). Bricks are
also used as pavement material.
Mortar: Mortar is used in masonry work to bind the bricks together. It is made by
mixing sand, cement and water.
Grout: Grout is generally used to fill up construction joints, gaps between tiles,
blocks etc. There are various types of grouts to protect the machine foundations
from vibration and dead weight of the machine.
Metal: Various types of metals and alloys are used in construction. Among them
Steel is most commonly used, as structural framework buildings. Steel bars are
used in reinforced concrete to provide tensile strength to concrete. Steel is also
used in the form of steel ladder railings, balcony railing, staircase railing and similar
works. Circular or hexagonal cast iron is used for ceiling fan clamp. Other materials
generally used in construction and decoration are copper, aluminium, tin.

Timber: Timber has been in use in construction for hundreds of years. Most
common use of timer is in making window panels and doors. In modern
construction, timber is used in the form of plywood, para-lam etc.
Chemical admixtures: There are various types of admixtures used in construction.
Admixtures are used to increase the workability of concrete.
Stone: Stone was used in construction before the invention of brick and concrete as
main structural element. But it is still in use as a decorative element to exterior of
building. Materials like granite and gravel are commonly used in construction. Kota
stone slab, marble stone slab are used in flooring.
Glass: Glass is used in curtain walls used to cover the faade of a building or in
making space frame as wide roof structure. Glass windows are very much used in
all types of buildings. It is mostly used as a source of daylight in the building.
Plastics: Plastics are used in so many industrial applications now a days because of
its adaptability, hardness and tolerable to heat. There are various types of plastics
are available such as polyethylene, PVC, acrylic etc.
Petrochemical products: Paint is used for coloring and coating of building
Paper: Paper and membranes are mostly used as an underlayment in exterior
walls, roofs and floors. They are also used for waterproofing and damp proofing.
Tiles: There are various types of flooring tiles or slabs used: vitrified tiles, terracotta
tiles, and ceramic glazed tiles. They are extensively used in walls and floors.
b) Materials that are rarely/sparingly used in construction:
Gypcrete: Gypcrete is a sustainable construction material which is made of
gypsum and glass fibers.
Bamboo: Bamboo is used extensively in villages and firms because of its
availability. In cities and towns it is not much used, but sometimes it is used in
interior decoration as finishing purposes. Bamboo scaffolding are used in some
construction sites.
Thatch and brush: In village and remote areas, thatch and brush are used as
roofing material in huts. They are easily available in those areas and cheaper and
easier to use.
Mud: In villages and remote areas, mud houses and huts are very common. They
are easy to build are cheaper. Mud bricks, compressed earth blocks, wet laid clay
walls are generally used.

Snow and ice: Snow is used to build Igloos in arctic regions. Ice hotels are made as
tourist attractions.
Fabric: Fabric is usually used in tensile structures. They are also used in making
tents. They are not sustainable materials but still in use.
Foams: Foams are used generally for insulation purposes in construction.
Eco friendly and recycled products: There are a variety of materials used is
green buildings which are eco friendly and made from recycled products.
Special types of concrete: There are new types of concrete now coming to the
market. There are productions of high strength concrete such as M200, M300
which requires no steel reinforcement, thus eliminating the main culprit of corrosion,
making it much sustainable. Self curing concrete can cure itself by adding
chemicals instead of water, thus increasing its workability. Shrinkage free concrete
is available in market which prevents shrinking. Generally, cement shrinks 2-4%,
creates cracks in the concrete. Green building products are the trend now a days
which are made from recycled materials. Foam concrete is a type of lightweight
concrete used to make slopes in terraces and in making sunken slabs. Fiber
reinforcement concrete is available in market which can be a replacement to
steel. It contains copper or glass fiber robs, has tensile strength 3 times more that
steel and wont corrode which is a problem with steel.
Special types of mortars: Structural grade mortar is used to repair structural
elements like beam where normal plastering mortars wont sustain. Fiber
reinforced mortar is used to repair beams which are able sustain bending stress,
are created using mortar and polypropylene fibers giving it tensile strength. High
stress mortar is used to repair high strength concrete like M200, M300.
c) Not used buy could be used in construction:
Carbon Nanotubes: Carbon nanotubes are recent invention which has a lot of
potential in construction. They have very high tensile strength and elasticity, very
low in density. It could be used as tensile fibres in concrete to replace steel in
reinforced concrete. But they are not much used because of its high cost.
Metallic glass: Generally metals are crystalline, but when cooled so fast, they
become amorphous. These amorphous metals are also knows as metallic glass,
which have higher tensile strength and are more resistant to corrosion.
Sewage sludge and chemical sludge from dyeing plants: There is research
going on to use sewage sludge in construction. They can be used as base layers in
highway construction because of its sustainability. Chemical sludge from dyeing
plants has lime and silica as main component which are commonly used materials
in construction. There are research going on to use them in construction.

Part 2:

Materials used in a building in the IITM campus built in the last 3

years: Quirk canteen
These are the materials used in the construction of quirk canteen:
Reinforced cement concrete: Concrete was used in beams, columns, slabs,
flooring of the building. Beams, columns and slabs are painted in white to make it
visually distinct as structure elements. With the combination of the exposed brink
work gives the building an unique look. It is performing very well.
Bricks: Brick is used in most of the building in the form of clay bricks or tiles. Also
exposed brick work is done to give the building an aesthetic look thus reducing the
use of mortar for plastering. The design of the building is such that it is open for
circulation and the exposed brick work goes well with the design. Other materials
such as concrete bricks, gypsum boards can also be used. Bamboo could have been
used to give is a better look.
Flooring tiles: There are various types of floor tiles used throughout the building.
In most of the outer part of the building area, clay tiles and ceramic are used, to go
with exposed brick aesthetic. In the interior, vitrified tiles are used. Some alternate
materials are marble tiles or cast insitu flooring.
Steel: Steel is used in trusses of roof and cutouts of walls as horizontal bars for
aesthetic purposes.
Cast iron for roofing: The material has been used for roofing for insulation and
speedy construction. They are coated with aluminium foils, but in some areas the
coating has been chipped off. Some alternatives could have been tin or aluminium
sheets ,or terracotta tiles. RCC roofing also could have been done.
Granite: Granite is used in windows stills, entrance area for its aesthetic look.
Other materials that could have been used are marbles or other stones, different
types of tiles.
Ceramic blocks: Ceramic blocks are used in the entrance area. Ceramic tiles are
used near the entrance for flooring.
Glass: Glass has been used in counter area of the building. They are chosen as they
are common material.
Paints and polishes: The exposed brick in the interior are painted and polished as
finishing material.
Most of the materials are performing well and together gives a very pleasant
aesthetic look to the building.

Materials used in a shopping mall in Chennai: Pheonix Mall,

These are the materials used in the construction of quirk canteen:
Reinforced cement concrete: Concrete is the main component of the building. It
is performing very good as expected.
Curtain wall: Curtain wall is used instead of brick in the building, as it takes less
time in construction. Glass curtain wall is used near the entrance area.
Aluminium composite panels are used in other part of the building as curtain
wall. They are also used to cover up the columns. They are used for the aesthetics
as well as less time taking during construction.
Steel: Steel is used as structural beam to support the roof. It was used instead of
RCC beam because its less time consuming. It also gives an aesthetic look to the
roof. Stainless steel is used for railing and escalators. Aluminium is also used for
Polycarbonate sheet: It is used as roofing material, because of its translucent
nature which allows some light to pass during day, as day light was necessary in the
inner parts of the building.
Tiles and stones for flooring: Ceramic and vitrified tiles used as flooring material
in the interior of the building and near the entrance area. Granite stone is used for
flooring and on walls in most of the exterior part of the building. Some alternate
materials are marble tiles or cast insitu flooring.
Glass: Glass has been used in display areas of the shops for aesthetic purposes.
They are also used in railings.
Gypsum board: Gypsum boards are used for false ceiling in most part of the
building. They are easy to use, durable and lightweight.
Wood: Wood has been used for interior decoration in most of the shops in the mall
for aesthetic purposes. It is used in the form of veneer for the ceiling.
Polymers: It is used for the purpose of interior decoration in various shops within
the mall.
Paints: Paints have been used as finishing materials all across the mall.
Most of the materials are performing well.