Construction Materials

The materials which are used in the construction of a structure such as (building, bridge, road) is called construction material. Examples: Concrete, cement, brick, soil, stones, aggregates, plastics, and asphalt.

The basic materials used in civil engineering  projects are:

  • Wood
  • Cement and concrete
  • Bitumen and bituminous materials
  • Structural clay and concrete units
  • Reinforcing and structural steels


                      Stones are taken out from the rocks which are naturally occurred as the part of the earth’s crust. Rock has a different chemical composition and exhibits different properties. Some of these rocks are widely used in construction. 


 Timber is a naturally occurring material and is used for several engineering constructions.

Characteristics of Good Timber:


    Good quality timber should be hard enough to resist weather and deterioration


 It should have sufficient strength to resist heavy structural loads of structure.


It should be able to resist shocks due to vibrations.


It should have sufficient strength.


It should have high durability.


It should be free from defects.



A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks are usually divided into three main groups: igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks, and sedimentary rocks.

 Classification of Rock:

The three main classes, of rock, are sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. 

 Sedimentary rocks:

Sedimentary rocks are those rock which was formed by the sediment of dead bodies decay particles in water or in water flow. Examples dolomites, limestone, etc.

Igneous rock:

Igneous rocks are those rock that is formed out of hot molten material in the Earth called magma. When magma comes up through Earth’s crust to the surface, it is called lava. Both magma and lava cool down and harden to form igneous rocks.

Metamorphic rock:

Metamorphic rock is those rock which is formed by the physical or chemical alteration by pressure and heat of an existing igneous or sedimentary material into a denser form which is called metamorphic rock.

Examples:  schist, quartzite and marble etc.


A brick is building material that is used to make walls, bridges and other structures in masonry construction.

There are various types of bricks that are used in masonry:

  • Common Burnt Clay Bricks.
  • Sand Lime Bricks (Calcium Silicate Bricks)
  • Engineering Bricks.
  • Concrete Bricks.
  • Fly ash Clay Bricks


A cement is a binder which is used for construction as a construction material that sets, hardens, and adheres to other materials to bind them with each together. There are 2 main forms of cement which are Geopolymer cement and Portland Cement.


Concrete is a construction material made of cement, sand and coarse aggregates mixed with water which hardens with time. Portland cement is the most commonly used type of cement for the manufacturing of concrete.


 Soil is a material composed of minerals, soil organic matter, living organisms, gas, and water. 

Soil is divided into three classes :

1. clay

2. silt

3. sand


It is a sticky, black, highly viscous mixture which is formed from hydrocarbons that are extracted naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation that is used for road surfacing and roofing. It is also used for waterproofing in the building.


Aggregate is a material formed from a mass of fragments or particles loosely compacted together.

Aggregate is mixed in concrete which helps to bind the elements or structure with each other. 



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