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Construction Materials Essay

Construction and Building Materials provides an international forum for the dissemination of research and development in the field of construction and building materials and their application in new works and repair practice. The journal publishes a wide range of research and application papers which describe laboratory and numerical investigations or report on full scale projects.

Construction and Building Materials also publishes detailed case studies and review articles, as well as short communications and discussions.

The materials and technology covered include: cement, concrete reinforcement, bricks and mortars, additives, corrosion technology, ceramics, timber, steel, polymers, glass fibres, recycled materials and by-products, sealants, adhesives.

The scope of Construction and Building Materials includes, but is not restricted to, new works and repair and maintenance of the following: bridges, high-rise buildings, dams, civil engineering structures, silos, highway pavements, tunnels, water containment structures, sewers, roofing, housing, coastal defences.

At a time when the pressure is on all engineers, architects and contractors to optimise use of new materials and up-to-date technologies, Construction and Building Materials provides essential information that will help improve efficiency, productivity and competitiveness in world markets. It is therefore vital reading for all professionals and academics involved with research into, or specification of, building materials.

Author duties: Acceptance of a manuscript for publication in the journal carries with it an understanding that the author, when requested, will fulfil an obligation to contribute their expertise to the review of others' manuscripts.

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Steel – Corrosion is the most common and expensive form of material degradation for construction steels, including concrete reinforcement. The U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the annual direct cost of corrosion in the United States is a staggering $ billion. Steel corrosion (rusting, or oxidation) is an electrochemical reaction that occurs when iron atoms loose electrons in the presence of oxygen and water. The most effective and common procedure for preventing or slowing corrosion is to prevent contact with water, either by coatings or by protecting it within a viable building envelope.

Concrete – Concrete is a composite material composed of a cement (most commonly Portland cement and fly ash), a fine aggregate (sand), a coarse aggregate (gravel or crushed stone), and sometimes chemical admixtures. Water reacts with (hydrates) the cement around the aggregate to form a solid, bonded conglomerate. While concrete is a relatively inert and durable building product, there are mechanisms by which it can degrade. Perhaps the most common is not degradation of the concrete material itself, but corrosion of the embedded steel reinforcement. When the steel corrodes, it expands and damages the concrete, often resulting in delamination and spalls. Other degradation mechanisms include sulfate attack and alkali silica reaction (ASR). Prevention of these degradation mechanisms at the time of construction is typically done by designing a resistant concrete mix or protecting the concrete from aggressive environments; after the damage has progressed, the problem becomes much more complicated – and expensive – to solve.

Wood – Unlike steel and concrete, whose chief degradation mechanisms are chemical reactions, the principal degradation mechanisms for wood are biological attack, namely decay and termites. Decay fungi feed on wood and require oxygen, mild temperatures, and moisture to thrive. Most damaging fungi affect wood only when the moisture content is above the fiber saturation point, so preventing decay is usually a matter of keeping moisture away. Several species of termite can damage wood, but most damage is due to subterranean termites. The usual method for preventing subterranean termite infestation is to prevent access; that is, isolating wood from the ground surface and thereby denying the termites a bridge to the structure.

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