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7 Construction Materials You Don’t Even Know It Exist

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Construction materials are the main reason why the project runs continuously, but if only the project is fully supported by the top management. There must be proper quality assurance for the material before it can be delivered to the construction site and the standard quality control shall be applied upon receipt on site.

The quality engineer should know How to Control Materials and Delivery to Construction Site, he or she must possess a high level of instinct that once the materials come to site it will pass through proper inspection before it can be distributed to the proper site work area.

Construction materials are essential in the construction industry and some of it are named in a seemingly funny way. Please take a look at these construction materials.

1. Banana Anchorage (Post Tension)


Usually made up of alloy steel, cast iron, carbon steel and even plastic, banana anchorage is used in the assembly of post-tensioned precast concrete.

Normally, banana anchorage comes with several accessories and parts for it to be installed. Most common accessories are the anchor rings, bearing plates, ducts, coupler, spacers, backing plates and several other more.

This construction material is relevant in the construction of post-tensioned prestressed concrete as these are the material that comes in contact with the stretched post-tensioned bars.

2. Damp proof course

Damp proof course are tape-like sheet used in construction to prevent moisture entourage through floors and walls. These are flexible, black or grey colored sheet that comes in roll and durable enough to withhold dead and live loads that it is acted upon into. Its main purpose for application is for damp proofing. Any moisture seepage through floor would harm installed tiling works which would later cause tile pop-up or decay for wood-based tiles such as engineered wood.

Normally, these materials are sandwich the desired mortar in bricks or masonry works for it to be rigid and properly fixed.

3. Filler Board

Filler boards are compressible joint filler normally made up of bitumen saturated with wood filament. Filler boards come commercially in sheet. It is commonly used in between the precast concrete and in-situ casted concrete for the purpose of expansion joint for non-homogenous materials and movement absorber.

These filler boards are installed with a tape for bond-breaking, sealant to cover the whole system, a water stop to prevent moisture entourage, and binding concrete for economy.

Not only are filler boards used in between precast and in-situ concrete but for the continuation of casted slabs to new slab construction. And most especially used in between soffit of the slab and head of block wall joints of the room or flat partitions.

4.  Water Bar

Water bar or water stop is commonly used in water holding or carrying projects such as large water tanks, dams, and sewage treatment plants. Normally, these are rope and tape-like hydrophobic material that comes in roll. These are normally nailed to construction joints in between the main reinforcing bars in retaining walls. Whenever it comes in contact with water, its rubber-like material swells, thus, preventing any water seepage. These materials are used to make the structure liquid tight as large construction liquid tanks cannot be concrete-casted in one setting. See Water Bar Image.

5. Waterproofing

Did you know that concrete alone cannot hold water? Concrete cement is not watertight. There will always be stubborn thinner than hairline cracks not naked to the eye. That is why we have waterproofing works in every construction. It helps insulate the concrete for water, moisture and chemical seepage. Waterproofing works use is not only for water seepage, it also prevents any further breakage of concrete with tiny water seepage especially for places with winter season. Any entrance into the tiny cracks would eventually become larger especially to snowy places.

A Method Statement must be developed before work starts on site in order to determine the proper procedures and to identify inspections needed as well as identifying the risk involved, especially in the underground waterproofing works.

Several waterproofing materials are available in the market. The most common are the sealant type and torch applied. It is applied to concrete to waterproof a system. Waterproofing are also used especially for suspended toilet and bath room, canopy and balcony with direct access to rain fall or water runways.

6. Backing Rod

Backing rods are polyethylene foam-based material used in most construction wall, doors and windows joints. Having the characteristics of foam, it is a closed cell soft comparable to rope in appearance. These materials usually come in roll and is ordered in meter upon request. Backing rods serves as the partial expansion joint and movement absorber. But its primary purpose is for bond-breaker or a gap filler alone. It comes with a sealant to get cover the system and get that desired aesthetic look.

Having a foam-based ingredient, backing rods are not suitable for hot-based sealant.

7. Hold Fast

Hold fast normally is made up of steel or aluminum used in woodworking or construction to grip, fix and hold a piece of material while it is currently worked into. Construction industry wise, hold fast is used to hold the hollow block for wall works which are normally fastened to a concrete column by means of a structural gun. Spaced every two layer of hollow blocks, hold fast is used as a means of gripping and putting the hollow blocks in place for a timely and efficient piling of the wall system. These are generally used in large construction project with huge area of masonry works.

Quality Engineer Tips:

I highly recommend reading “Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods,” this will help you to know more about other materials on site not only materials but the methods involve.
• And this also one of the best read books about “Materials for Civil and Construction Engineers,” you will further know about steel material, aggregate, concrete, cement to asphalt etc.

These are some but not all commonly used construction materials that a person may not know. Several lists could be added which is similarly interesting in nature but we would run out of paper and words.

It is always the material inspection is a quality engineers task, so as a quality inspector or if there is no inspector you as a quality engineer should initiate the proper ways of checking the construction materials arrived on site.

What material do you check on site? Do you always check materials arrived or even installed on site and do you apply the proper way of checking?
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