Civil Engineering Materials Fifth Edition

Civil Engineering Materials Fifth Edition

The importance of an understanding of the materials used in civil engineering and
building projects is widely recognised, and this is reflected by the increasing
emphasis being placed on the teaching of material properties at undergraduate
level. This introductory textbook on materials satisfies a need for a single book
covering the principal materials used in civil engineering and building works.
The aim has been to provide students with an authoritative text which will also
serve as a valuable source of reference in their subsequent careers. In this fifth edition,
with three new contributors, the Parts on Metals, Timber and Bituminous
Materials have been rewritten, and all other Parts have been extensively revised to
maintain an up-to-date coverage of all materials. The fundamental properties of
soils continue to be covered in greater depth than usual, in recognition of the
importance of soils as construction materials, and an additional chapter has been
included to assist the reader in the transition from the study of soils as a material
to the related topic of soil mechanics. Extensive references to all relevant British
and other Standards are made throughout the book.
The treatment of material properties here is suitable for students studying for a
degree or equivalent qualification in civil engineering, building technology, architecture
and other related disciplines. The particular point in a course at which the
study of civil engineering and building materials is introduced will depend on the
course structure of the individual educational institution but would generally be
during the first two years of a three or four year course. Similarly, the extent of
further formal study of materials depends on the emphasis and structure of the
course within a particular educational institution. However, it is not envisaged that
further formal study of the basic material properties of metals, timber, concrete,
polymer materials and bricks and blocks will be required, although the application
of these materials within the general context of analysis and design might well
continue throughout the remainder of a course. Further formal study of soils might
normally be expected to continue, for civil engineering students, within the context
of soil mechanics, with further formal study of bituminous materials only
where highway materials are studied in later years. In this context, readers should
recognise the need for continued study, whether this be of an informal or formal
nature, throughout their subsequent careers if they are to ma

An understanding of the properties of materials is essential in both the design and
construction phases of any civil engineering or building project if this is to prove
satisfactory for its intended purpose. For the student reader it is believed that a few
introductory remarks, in this context, might make the study of materials more
meaningful in itself, rather than merely being a part of a required course of study.
Civil engineering and building projects include roads, railways, bridges, tunnels,
dams, culverts, water and waste-water treatment plants, water distribution
and drainage systems, coastal protection works, harbours, power stations, airports,
industrial complexes and a wide range of building structures for residential, commercial,
sports and leisure purposes. During the initial planning and design stages
of a project the principal factors upon which any subsequent decision to proceed
will be based include its economic viability and sociological and environmental
During this initial or conceptual design stage, consideration is given to possible
alternative locations and/or layouts of the associated works and to a preliminary
assessment of suitable construction materials.
For building structures, alternative layouts and structural forms are studied
together with the suitability of different materials for use in the structural elements
for each of these. The decision as to which structural form and choice of materials
are the most appropriate depends on a number of factors including, but not limited
to, the cost, physical properties, durability and availability of materials and
the ease and speed of construction. All of these affect the first cost (of construction)
and/or the subsequent costs (of maintenance) during the design life of the
structure, both of these being important considerations when assessing the economic
viability of any project. It should be noted that the term choice of materials
is used here to mean the choice of not only the generic names of materials (steel,
concrete, aluminium, polymer, timber, brick, etc.) but also their specific type,
composition and/or performance acceptance criteria.


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