Building the Future with Composite Construction Materials Tips, Property Guide, New Construction

Building with Composite Construction Materials Tips

6 July 2020

Building the Future with Composite Construction Materials

Over the last decade, the demand for new construction, paired with increasing costs of many raw materials like copper and construction-grade steel, has led to a growth in composite materials being used in construction.

Composites have a lot to offer many industries, and their strength makes them particularly attractive to the construction sector. They can also be shaped and formed in a variety of different ways, helping to make composites an easier product to work with and less time-consuming – saving time and money.

The construction industry is taking composites very seriously and are looking for new ways to increase the amounts of composite construction materials used in the building projects of the future. It is worth taking a closer look at these new materials, and how composite manufacturers are working on new materials to solve problems in the construction industry and make large building projects much more efficient.

What is a Composite Material?

In their simplest form, composite materials have been around for centuries. Composites are materials made from two or more fundamentally different materials that combine their properties to create a new product. This new material often offers the best aspects of each material combined into one product.

For centuries, craftsmen used different construction techniques to achieve similar results with woods and resins, but as manufacturing technology has been improved and developed, the materials that are now being made are much more complex.

Carbon-fibre composite is one of the most commonly known and commonly used composites. It uses long strands made from one of the strongest elements in the periodic table, Carbon, that are woven together into a sheet. These are then layered on top of one another in a polymer resin. When baked in a huge kiln or Autoclave, these two materials combine to create incredibly strong and lightweight materials that are often used in aircraft, sports cars, and rockets.

Why are Composites used in Construction?

The composite manufacturing industry identified the construction sector as a market with huge potential for its products, and it is easy to see why.

Composites began by making products that were strong and light for the transport sector. Strength is obviously an asset in a construction material, but composite manufacturers also found that the polymers and resin they used are also very hard-wearing, especially in the face of moisture.

One of the most commonly used composites in the construction industry is Fibre Reinforced Plastic or FRP. This material can be used in a number of different ways but is often used as a roofing and weather-proofing solution. Fibre Reinforced Plastic has excellent resistance to damp and rot, making it perfect to use when weather-proofing the exterior of a building. In addition, when considered as a material for a building in its design stage, it can come with a number of other cost savings.

Using strong and lightweight composites in roofing and a building’s exterior reduces the amount of support these building elements need, reducing the use of other construction materials. Architects that design their buildings with composite materials as a focus can often create large, light, and airy spaces by taking full advantage of the benefits composites have to offer.

How Can Composites Be Used in the Home?

Composite construction materials are not just for new buildings or large-scale construction projects. There are a lot of composite products available with something to offer every homeowner.

When designing composite products, manufacturers have a wide range of options. Modern manufacturing techniques allow them to make products to just about any size and shape, as well as to a number of other specifications such as strength and weight. Different grades of reinforced plastic and fibre strengthened resins are now being used in everything from water piping to flooring and decking.

Outdoor flooring, such as decking, is a great fit for composites due to their resistance to rot and biodegradation. Wooden decking often becomes rotted or pitted over time and can create a safety hazard whether used at home or in a professional setting. Trex Composite Decking is a range of high-quality composite decking that has the look and feel of a wooden deck without the risk of rot.

The Trex Composite Decking at Armstrong Supplies is designed and manufactured precisely, making each piece together perfectly every time, and keeping them a uniform length. This cuts down on construction time and makes installing decking a much less stressful project. Composites are also easier to cut than some wooden decking and are much easier to handle because of their lightweight.

Composites are going to be used in construction more and more as composite manufacturers design more solutions for the industry. The strength of composites makes them an ideal match for any building project, and the versatility that composite designs offer will help shape the buildings of the future.

Comments on this guide to Building the Future with Composite Construction Materials article are welcome.

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Norra Tornen, Hagastaden, north of Stockholm
Design: OMA / Reinier de Graaf
Norra Tornen in Stockholm Sweden
photograph : Laurian Ghinitoiu, Courtesy of OMA
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