Characterization of material for civil engineering

Cappelletto, Elisa (2014) Characterization of material for civil engineering. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

PDF - Doctoral Thesis


Materials are the heart of engineering, which can be defined as the creative and rational use of materials for practical purposes. Materials have had an essential role in the development of civil engineering: from the beginning of human evolution, man has used many different materials to build houses, bridges, roads and countless other structures to make his life easier. Ancient populations used the raw materials at their disposal, such as stone, clay and timber. Over the centuries, the search for new materials became increasingly important to respond to changing human needs, and men learned how to use clay to form artificial stones, cements and concretes, for instance. While hands-on familiarity rooted in tradition and crafting expertise initially drove these human activities, in modern times the need for a scientific understanding of materials prompted the birth of the material science discipline. Material science studies the composition, behavior and properties of materials to solve problems associated with their use. Engineering and material science work together to create functional, durable and beautiful structures. Among the materials used in civil engineering constructions, wood and cement have had the most important role over the centuries and they are still the main components of our infrastructures. Timber was used as a building material even by primitive man, and a few ancient temples, palaces and bridges built of wood can still be seen today. In the 20th century, although materials such as concrete had become competitive, wood retained its significant role in building. The main problem with the use of wood as a construction material concerns its possibly limited lifetime. Wood is characterized by a limited resistance to moisture and fire, the two elements responsible for the destruction of most wooden buildings in the past. Cement, and consequently concrete, is the most often used material today. The term “cement” is now used to mean a modern binder, the so-called Portland cement, patented in England in 1824. Similar binding materials were already being used from very early on ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Modern cement formulations have changed a great deal and can be adapted to their intended use and the surrounding environment.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Materials Science and Engineering
PhD Cycle:25
Area 03 - Scienze chimiche > CHIM/02 CHIMICA FISICA
Repository Staff approval on:15 May 2014 14:59

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