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What Are the Different Types of Raw Materials for Construction?

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  • Written By: Alex Newth
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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Raw materials for construction are used to make various structures, and each material offers different advantages and uses. Brick is one of the common raw materials for construction, and it can be used for both houses and commercial buildings. Many houses are made with a wood frame, because wood is resilient and holds up well against wind and weathering. Larger buildings generally have a metal frame, and metal also can be used for accents or other structures. While glass is commonly used for windows, it also can serve many other purposes in construction.

Many structures use brick, which is one of the more versatile raw materials. Bricks are commonly made from compressing sand and clay pastes together and drying them to form hard blocks. This material is hard, so it offers strong resistance against the weather and tends to be quite sturdy. The brick aesthetic also is enjoyed by many people and may be used purely for visual appeal.

Hard woods often are used as raw materials for construction because wood can bend a bit and is inexpensive. After wood is cut, different layers of wood may be pressed or glued together to make larger boards and planks. Wood easily can be cut down even more, making it simple to customize the size and shape of the wood. This feature allows wood to be used for nearly any size house frame and for accents.

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Wood generally does not work as well for large buildings, which may be too heavy for wood to support, so metal commonly is used with larger structures. Like wood, metal can bend and tends to be strong and durable. There are many types of metals used as raw materials for construction, including iron, steel, aluminum and tin. The metals used must resist corrosion, or they will be susceptible to weathering. Metal typically costs more than wood and is harder to form, so it is not as commonly used for smaller structures.

Glass is rarely used to support any type of structure, but people tend to like windows in houses and buildings, so glass is a staple material. In the smallest sense, glass may be used for windows on the side of a home, but many structures are covered entirely in glass supported by a wooden or metal frame. Sunroofs or windows in the ceiling also tend to use glass, though plastic may be used instead.

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