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There are more than 50 building raw materials that go into the construction of a structure. Ranging from sand to steel, construction building raw materials are one among the most used materials in the world. This is because the construction industry has exponentially boomed with houses and apartment complexes being built every day and skyscraping urban infrastructure dotting the cities.

Construction of buildings is time consuming and resource intensive. The money that goes into making these buildings is skyrocketing with time. The vital step in any construction project is sourcing the right building materials. The construction industry builders search for the best building materials suppliers that can give them quality raw materials at relatively low prices to increase the profit margins. Construction companies also follow a meticulous process of raw material procurement to ensure continuity in work without delays.

Some of the major components in building materials used today are bricks, cement, steel, metals and sand. The building materials used vary depending on the type of building being constructed. For example, metal is used as structural framework for larger buildings like skyscrapers, or as an external surface covering.

Key building raw materials used in the construction sector

Here are some of the key building raw materials used for construction of buildings in India:

1. Sand

Sand is the basic material used for construction of buildings. They are particles of broken rock that give bulk, strength and other properties to concrete. It is widely used for wall reinforcements and in certain types of flooring. However, there is a prescribed amount of sand that can be mixed with other materials to produce the desired result. If the amount of sand exceeds in a mixture the sand gets heavy, less stable and less resistant.

There are different types of sand available in the market for construction purposes. While choosing sand for building construction, choose the ones which don’t have small rocks, particles or other impurities. Here are a few types of sand used in construction:

  • River sand – As the name suggests, river sand is obtained from the bank of a river. These are usually rounded particles featuring a whitish grey in colour. River sand is highly effective for plastering.
  • Coarse sand/Pit sand – Sourced from deep pits where the supply is abundant, coarse sand grains are sharp, salt free and come in the medallion shade of yellow. It is commonly used for concreting.
  • M Sand – A substitute of river sand, it is manufactured by crushing granite/basalt rock. It is also known as artificial sand or stone sand.

2. Bricks

Bricks are at the core of most buildings and are known for their durability. Most bricks are made of clay, but there are other types of bricks like concrete bricks. The types of bricks used in building construction have become more refined, featuring better strength and stability at lower costs. There are multiple types of bricks used as raw materials for building construction:

  • Sun-dried clay bricks – These are one of the first kinds of brick. These are dried in the sun for hardening and are usually used in rural areas or temporary constructions. They are not as strong and have reduced fire and water resistance.
  • Burnt clay bricks – Burnt clay bricks have earned the name ‘common brick’ as they are widely used among the types of bricks used in construction. It is used in the construction of important structures like columns, walls, and the foundation of the building.
  • Fly ash bricks – Made with fly ash, a by-product of burning coal mixed with water fired at a 1000 degree Celsius, this brick is often referred to as ‘self-cementing’ brick.
  • Concrete bricks – Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand, and water. This mixture can be made into bricks of all types and sizes. Concrete bricks can be readily manufactured at a construction site and have become a popular type of brick used in construction.

3. TMT steel bars

TMT bars are Thermo Mechanically Treated bars with low carbon steel. These bars are the main component that provide strength to the building’s structure. They have a tough outer core and a soft inner core. These bars are corrosion resistant and used for constructing bridges, residential buildings and industries. There are different grades of TMT bars as per Indian Standards (IS) such as: Fe 415, Fe 415D, Fe 500, Fe 500D, Fe 550, Fe 550D and Fe 600.

4. Cement

Cement is now used in many construction items like concrete, reinforced cement concrete, mortar, plaster, grouts, paints and precast elements. It is an important raw material for house construction. The Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) is the most widely used type of cement in India: There are three different types of OPC:

  • 33 Grade cement – This is used for general civil construction purposes like plastering, flooring and masonry. OPC 33 grade possesses low compressive strength and low heat hydration which ensures lesser cracking.
  • 43 Grade cement – OPC 43 Grade is also used for general civil purposes, like plastering, flooring. This type of cement attains minimum compression strengths at 43 Mega-Pascal at 28 days.
  • 53 Grade cement – This type of cement is used for general purposes and for building bridges, roads, multi-storied building works, etc. They attain the minimum compression strength of 53 Mega-Pascal at 28 days of curing.

Sustainable construction

With an increased stress on climate change and sustainability, many construction companies around the world are looking for sustainable building materials. The continuous mining for cement and exploitation of riverbeds for sand has had a destructive impact on the environment. Use of renewable resources for building construction can decrease the demand of activities like mining.

Here are some green building materials that are gaining popularity in the construction industry

  • Recycled steel
  • Reclaimed wood
  • Hempcrete – Hemp bricks
  • Plant-based Polyurethane rigid foam – made from bamboo, kelp and hemp
  • Ferrock – Made from recycled materials such as steel dust from the steel industry, or ferrous rock

Sourcing the best quality building material depends on finding the building material supplier. Efficiency in procurement can be a major competitive advantage for businesses explaining why businesses are prioritising supplier selection, raw material demand aggregation, logistics and transportation solutions.

As an MSME owner, engaged in buildings construction, consider to buy steel on Tata nexarc for quality steel products from trusted sellers at the best prices.

Also Read: Raw material examples