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Construction materials | Flooring

When talking about construction materials, we are referring to all the products and raw materials which are used in the construcción of buildings, residences, roads, and other civil engineering and architectural structures.

Therefore, these materials fulfill both structural and architectural (ornamental) functions in the world of construction.

Construction materials must resist damaging actions (hard blows, heavy loads, etcetera) as well as being aesthetically pleasing in order to preserve the integrity of the structure, in terms of security and service.

Detailed below we will mention the most commonly used paving materials.

Concrete

Concrete is a composite material that has the hardness of a stone.

It originates from the physicochemical union between coarse aggregates (gravel) and fine aggregates (sand), which is possible due to the binding capacity of cement, which is detonated once in contact with water.

Construction material concrete

Basically, concrete is simply the material resulting from mixing gravel, sand, cement, and water. Which are joined following certain techniques.

However, to improve its advantages, special additives are usually added to the concrete mix, either in a fresh or hardened state.

Also, to reduce its fragility and vulnerability to tensile stress, metal bars, electro-welded meshes and / or fibers are usually used, giving rise to reinforced concrete.

When it comes to paving, concrete is a construction material that is presented as what is known as a rigid pavement.

Asphalt

Asphalt is a binding construction material.

It’s characterized by being viscous, dark, and to have varied consistency. It can be solid, semi-solid, or liquid.

Asphalt construction material

This material is mainly composed of natural tars (hydrocarbons), which are refined during the industrial process of petroleum distillation.

In construction, asphalt is used mainly as a raw material with which different products are made.

Among the different asphalt products, asphalt mixtures are the most widely used construction product for paving.

Asphalt concrete is the flagship of all these products.

Asphalt concrete is a construction material that normally consists of a hot asphalt mix that is composed of asphalt bitumen and well-graded coarse and fine aggregates.

This material is the main constituent of flexible paving.

Cobblestones

A paving stone that is characterized by its rectangular shape.

Usually similar to solid blocks, although they can develop other types of shapes.

Paving stones building material

This paving construction material can be made from granite or basalt, which are highly resistant rocks.

Although nowadays it’s very common to make them with concrete.

Concrete pavers are used to create what is known as articulated pavement.

This type of paving is used in urban spaces with little vehicle traffic, such as squares and gardens, among others.

When talking about this type of pavement it is worth highlighting its aesthetics, I feel this is one reason why modern cobblestones are using different coloured concrete.

PVC

PVC is the standardized acronym for polyvinyl chloride.

PVC is a synthetic construction material. Technically it’s a polymer of vinyl chloride (C2H3Cl).

This polymer is industrially manipulated to produce resins, which can be either rigid or flexible.

Rigid PVC is normally used to make pipes and windows.

Flexible PVC is used for paving and as a construction floor covering constituting what is known as vinyl flooring.

Vinyl flooring is a flooring that stands out for its resistance to abrasion, impermeableness, and its easy cleaning.

In addition, PVC flooring can be continuous by creating flexible sheets or discontinuous by means of rigid slabs.

Epoxy resin

Epoxy resin is a synthetic construction material.

It refers to a set of polymers and prepolymers that are made up of epoxide groups, also known as polyepoxides.

Epoxy resin building material

Within the epoxy resins, the one most commonly used in paving is a two-component product derived from the chemical reaction between epichlorohydrin and bisphenol A.

Therefore, the creation of an epoxy floor is carried out in 2 parts:

  1. The resin and the hardener are mixed to create a chemical reaction.
  2. Subsequently, the mixture hardens.

Epoxy flooring is characterized by being a surface with high mechanical resistance and by withstanding humidity changes.

Furthermore, epoxy resin is a material that offers great adhesion to concrete, making it suitable for covering rigid flooring.

Polyurethane

Polyurethane (PU) is a synthetic material that is polymeric in nature but it’s composed of hydroxyl bases and diisocyanates.

This material constitutes two groups of chemical compounds, known as thermoset polyurethanes and thermoplastic polyurethanes.

Thermoplastic polyurethanes are the most widely used in the construction industry for flooring materials.

These are used to repair cracks in floor surfaces, as adhesive sealants and have a great ability to interact and bond with cement, thus forming what is known as hybrid mixtures.

In this way, a polyurethane floor can be either a paving with a synthetic coating or with a hybrid cement-polyurethane mix.

Linoleum

Linoleum is a construction material used as a floor covering.

It’s made by solidifying a mixture of flax oil, sawdust and cork powder.

Linoleum building material

Alternatively, pigments are usually added to the linoleum mixture to give the coating chromaticity and aesthetic properties to the flooring.

Although it should be noted that linoleum is a material that is currently in disuse.

Due to its characteristics, linoleum has been surpassed by coatings such as polyvinyl chloride or epoxy resin.

Polyvinyl chloride and epoxy resin an even more advanced industrial technology and offer certain improvements for construction paving.

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