Project managers can optimize the procurement of raw materials by analysing the different categories of building materials used. A comprehensive knowledge of these categories will aid in planning and budgeting, while also streamlining the development of the project through its lifecycle.
The major types of building materials, such as RMC (Ready-mix concrete), TMT steel (Thermo mechanical treatment), cement, tiles, and aggregates will also have their own procurement, handling and usage protocols. Seller payment terms may also vary within these categories, which is why it’s important to review all category conditions prior to raising an RFQ. Let’s have a look at the different types of building materials used in construction work.
TMT steel is a chief component of most construction projects providing reinforcement to the concrete to enhance its load bearing capacity. From residential homes to industrial towers, TMT plays a vital role to increase the tensile strength of all RCC (Reinforced Cement Concrete) structures. TMT bars are designed to be highly durable and are available in a range of different grades (Fe 415, Fe 500, Fe 550, Fe 600) to fit every construction project.
They’re manufactured with special ribbed design which increases the cement-bonding capabilities of the rebar. As the tensile stresses are transferred to the steel reinforcement, the ribbed design ensures that the cement bonds consistently across the entire RCC structure. It’s best to acquire TMT steel from a leading manufacturer, via a reliable building materials online store.
Ready Mix Concrete (RMC)
RMC is another important construction material. It is a measured mixture of cement, sand, grave, and aggregate. It’s the concrete-mix that is delivered directly to the construction site, requiring no additional treatment prior to being used. It’s available in a range of grades, M10toM40and is prepared directly at the batching site from where it is procured.
Based on the scope and scale of the construction project, the appropriate type of RMC composition may be used. It’s available in a range of grades, M10 to M40 and is prepared directly at the batching site from where it is procured. E.g. an M20 grade RMC will have the cement: sand: aggregates ratio of 1: 1.5: 3, while offering a compressive strength of 2900 psi. They’re perfect for applications across RCC projects, columns, small-scale infrastructure works, etc.
Cement is one of the most widely used construction materials, making it important to understand its benefits and types in the marketplace. It can be acquired in largely two major types, which are Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) & Portland Pozzolana Cement (PPC).
OPC is a standard cement used across a wide range of construction projects. It is available in three distinct grades – OPC-53, OPC-43, OPC-33.
OPC – 33 – This cement product, as per BIS requirement of 28-day compressive strength, offers 33 MPa compressive strength. It’s used extensively for general civil constructions under normal conditions, and small-scale developments.
OPC – 43 – This mid-strength cement product, as per BIS requirement of 28-day compressive strength, offers 43 MPa compressive strength. It’s generally used for RCC works, precast items, and non-structural projects.
OPC – 53 –This ultra-strength cement product, as per BIS requirement of 28-day compressive strength, offers 53 MPa compressive strength. It’s the perfect cement to use for infrastructure projects, heavy-duty constructions, concrete roads, bridges, etc.
While OPC 53 is used extensively in projects requiring high strength and durability, OPC-43 is more cost-effective.
PPC is prepared by adding Pozzolanic materials (fly ash and volcanic ash) to OPC, giving it greater strength, more durability, and better fineness. It also has a higher workability and chemical resistance than OPC which is why it’s used across major construction works and large-scale infrastructure projects.
More specialized forms of cement, such as waterproof cement, eco-friendly cement, air-entraining, rapid hardening cement, etc. may also be available, providing additional support to complex construction projects.
Bricks and Blocks
Bricks are an extensively used raw material, especially in the construction of residential properties, homes, and commercial zones. They’re a mixture of naturally occurring materials, which is why they’re minimal waste products, offering quality fire protection, wind protection and moisture control.
A diverse range of bricks are used within the construction domain, such as concrete bricks, engineering bricks, fly ash bricks, and burnt clay bricks. Each brick type serves a unique purpose while offering specialized benefits. While some bricks are used for making walls and fences, others may be used for facades or aesthetic works.
In terms of compressive strength, the composition of the clay and degree of burning will affect the overall strength of the brick. Under BIS specifications, bricks must provide a minimum of 35 kg/cm2 of compressive strength, while the upper end of the range reaches 200kg/cm2.
First and second-class bricks may offer a minimum of 140 kg/cm2 and 70 kg/cm2 of compressive strength. The average dimensions of construction bricks, may be close to 200 mm x 100 mm x 75 mm, based on the project requirements and compressive strength necessary.
Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) blocks are also popular within the construction sphere owing to their light weight, superior strength and durability. They’re the preferred choice for many firms developing residential homes, healthcare institutions, schools, hotels, and small-scale commercial properties.
Sand & Aggregates
Fine, coarse, and manufactured sand is used to strengthen and bulk major construction materials such as cement. Sand may also be used as a base layer, providing a clear and dry surface for construction works. It’s available in a range of grades, sizes, and types, offering multiple options to procurement managers across different projects.
Manufactured sand is also a popular choice for construction projects, because of its superior workability and composition. It’s widely used to help concrete structures withstand environmental conditions while reducing the impact of moisture and corrosion on the reinforcement steel used.
Aggregates are generally extracted by breaking rocks into smaller materials, within size ranges of 5 mm to 60mm. They’re an extensively used component in concrete providing additional strength to the overall mixture. They also help in enhancing the binding of the cement and are highly resistant to erosion and long-term wear and tear, thereby increasing the lifespan of the development.
Construction firms may need to buy miscellaneous items, such as tiles, wood, pipes, glass, kitchen ware, fittings, etc., to complete plumbing, flooring, lighting and furnishing requirements. These materials may be procured towards the latter stages of construction but need to be accounted for during the strategic planning & pre-development stages.
It’s also important to optimize their cost of acquisition, which is why procurement managers need to balance functionality, benefits, and aesthetics of these materials.
Construction procurement managers can work with manufacturers across a range of categories to find the right materials to use for their projects. While each category of building material has its own unique properties, benefits and features, it’s important to have market insights in how to procure, handle/store and use them individually.
It’s also critical to understand how best to review multiple options within key categories such as TMT steel, RMC, cement, furnishing, flooring, etc. to maximize the functional/aesthetic benefits obtained. Leading building materials store such as BuildSupply can aid in streamlining that process while offering an unmatched range in categories, brands, grades, types, and dimensions of various types of building materials.