Subject: Construction Materials

Scientific Area:

Civil Engineering


80 Hours

Number of ECTS:

7,5 ECTS



Overall objectives:

1 - Interpret and solve problems in engineering in order to practice the engineer profession with analytical capacity, critical thinking and innovative sense. Search and select the information needed to support solutions in the field of civil engineering.
2 - Acquire basic knowledge about the primary materials used in construction, including their raw materials and processing, characteristics and properties, in order to understand its applications and performances. Address the main normative documents applicable, in order to select and specify materials for practical applications.


1 - Introduction to Study of Materials Science 1.1. Introduction to materials science 1.2. Cycle of materials 1.3. Classification 1.4. Internal structure, connection and properties of materials 1.5. Analysis, assessment and selection of materials 1.6. General criteria for laboratory testing.
2 - Ornamental Stones 2.1. Natural Stones 2.2. Selection of natural stones and their conditions of application 2.3. Extraction and transformation of ornamental stones: chemical, physical and mechanical properties 2.4. Chemical and physical factors of alteration.
3 - Air hardening binding materials 3.1. Building gypsum: raw materials, production process and types of plaster. Chemical composition, setting, influence of the water / plaster ratio, characteristics and main properties and applications of commercial plaster 3.2. Lime: raw materials, transformation process, setting and hardening, characteristics and main applications.
4 - Hydraulic Binders 4.1. Hydraulic limes: raw materials, production process, properties and applications 4.2. Cement: Raw materials and transformation process 4.3. Main components of cement: Portland clinker, blast furnace slag, limestone filler, fly ash, pozzolans and silica fume 4.4. Hydration reactions 4.5. Contribution of different components in the behaviour of cement: mechanical and chemical resistance, hydration heat 4.6. Standardization of cement - NP EN 197-1 4.7. Properties and applications of cements manufactured in Portugal 4.8. Special cements.
5 - Concrete and Mortars 5.1. Components of Concrete: types and characteristics of the aggregates nature and properties of water mixing, and the main types, properties and applications of adjuvants 5.2. Calculation the composition of a concrete: sieve analysis, grading curve, fineness modulus 5.3. Determination of concrete composition: workability, segregation, exudation and Faury's reference curve 5.4. Types of concrete, properties and applications 5.5. Concrete manufacturing: storage, mixture, transportation and compaction 5.6. Mortars: components, properties and mortar traces 5.7. Bastard mortars.
6 - Wood and Derivatives 6.1. Wood as a structural and coating material 6.2. Wood structure and its characteristics 6.3. Mechanical properties of wood: resistance, modulus of elasticity and deformation of wood 6.4. Factors influencing the properties of wood: forestry, moisture and defects 6.5. Connections 6.6. Wood treatments 6.7. Wood-based materials: raw materials, production, properties and applications 6.8. Wood-cement composites 6.9. Cork and cork agglomerates: production, properties and applications.
7 - Ferrous Metals 7.1. Ordinary steel: raw materials, extraction of iron in the blast furnace and steel transformation 7.2. Influence of percentage of carbon and minerals formed in the behavior of steels 7.3. Mechanical properties of steel: yield stress, elastic limit stress, rupture stress and deformability modulus 7.4. Heat and mechanical treatments 7.5. Reinforcing steel and prestressing steel 7.6. Steel profiles.
8 - Ceramic Materials 8.1. Red clay pottery, porcelain and refractories 8.2. Raw materials. Components of the clays and their properties: plasticity, shrinkage and the effect of heat 8.3. Stages of production and molding processes 8.4. Drying of ceramics 8.5. Red clay products: production, main properties and tests.
9 - Glass 9.1. Introduction and history of the glass industry 9.2. Glazed products: production, applications and characteristics 9.3. Raw materials and production processes 9.4. Glass properties: strength, modulus of elasticity, heat transfer and luminous coefficients, solar and insulation properties 9.5. Types of glasses: annealed, tempered, laminated and composites 9.6. Applications in the construction industry.


NEVILLE, A. , 2000 , Properties of Concrete , Prentice Hall
COUTINHO, A. Sousa , 1997 , Fabrico e Propriedades do Betão - I, II e III , LNEC
SMITH, William F. , 1996 , Princípios de Ciência e Engenharia dos Materiais , McGraw-Hill
CACHIM, P. B. , 2007 , Construções em Madeira , Publindústria
GONÇALVES, M.C; MARGARIDO, F. , 2012 , Ciências e Engenharia de Materiais de Construção , IST Press
DOMONE, P.; ILLSTON, J. , 2010 , Construction materials - their nature and behaviour , Spon press
ESGALHADO, H.; ROCHA, A. , 2015 , Materiais plásticos para a construção civil. Características e tipos de aplicação. , LNEC
EUSÉBIO, M.; RODRIGUES, P. , 2009 , Tintas, vernizes e revestimentos por pintura para a construção civil , LNEC

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Regular Season - is evaluated in the 3 frequencies that are designed to measure students knowledge (by theoretical and theoretical-practical issues/problems). The 1st frequency will have a weight of 20%, 2nd frequency will have a weight of 40% and 3rd frequency will have a weight of 40%. Students who have a final classification (weighted classification of the three frequencies) of at least 9.50 values will get approved. Appeal and Special Season - are evaluated with a test that aim to assess the theoretical and theoretical-practical knowledge. Students who have a rating in the examination of at least 9.50 values get approved. Note: Students who achieve a rating of at least 18.5 values will have a provisional classification of 18 values. However, they may submit to oral examination to qualify to obtain a final grade above 18 points.