Fundamental Building Technology by Andrew J. Charlett

By Andrew J. Charlett

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Cement provides strength and is an hydraulic material, that is it requires the presence of water, not air, in order to hydrate. There are two parts to the reaction between cement and water. An initial chemical set is followed by a long hydration period, in which the cement gains its final strength. Heat is produced during the setting process and this may need to be controlled if cracking is to be prevented. Cements are manufactured in three main types: ● ● ● Portland cements Supersulphated cements High Alumina cements Portland cements These are manufactured by calcining together a slurry of clay containing silica, alumina and iron oxide, with limestone in a rotating furnace.

Made up ground behaves in a similar manner unless the material is well graded, carefully placed and properly compacted in thin layers. Shallow foundations should not be used on sites consisting of made up ground. Slight settlement should not cause problems to the structure of the building. Excessive settlement may cause shear failure of the soil. Settlement must also be uniform throughout the building; otherwise damage may result from differential settlement. The amount of differential movement between parts of a building must be kept within acceptable limits.

These operations require a machine that can move soil, vegetation and rubble from a relatively large area and either push the material into a mound in the corner of the site or be able to load the material into transport that will remove it from the site. The depth of excavation is relatively shallow and not likely to exceed 300 mm. Ideal machines for these operations will have a curved front blade for stripping and pushing material in front of the machine (a bulldozer. See Fig. 3) or have a front bucket that is able to strip soil, grub up vegetation, mound material or load material into the back of a lorry for removal from the site (a tractor shovel.

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