When constructing a building, workers will likely need a wide variety of materials. In addition to extremely rigid and durable materials such as concrete or steel, there are cases where more pliable substances are necessary. A flexible building material refers to one that is capable of bending easily without breaking. To learn about some of the different types of flexible building materials that construction workers commonly use, continue reading.
Bamboo is a large, wood-like grass that primarily grows in tropical environments. The grass grows extremely quickly and has a variety of advantageous qualities which make it a highly popular building material. For one, bamboo is extremely flexible. While it is soft when it grows, bamboo hardens when it dries while still retaining its flexibility. The densely packed fibers of bamboo canes allow the durable plant to bend without snapping and make it highly resistant to cracks or chips. For such reasons, bamboo is a very useful construction material for buildings located in areas that experience a lot of earthquakes.
Another different type of flexible building material is metal fabric. Metal fabric is essentially woven or melded metal fibers that can range widely from stainless steel to bronze. Depending on the application, metal fabrics can be extremely flexible to more rigid due to differences in how tightly or loosely the metal fibers are woven together.
Since metal fabrics can offer varying degrees of flexibility, we can implement them in a wide range of applications. For example, workers can install them over other building materials to provide enhanced protection against weather or use them inside buildings as a means to block out light. In addition to their flexibility and durability, metal fabrics are also highly aesthetically pleasing and give buildings a sleek, modern appearance.
Carbon fiber is a versatile material that consists of strong, thin crystalline carbon filaments. Due to its composition, carbon fiber is highly flexible and suits a wide range of applications. In addition to its flexibility, carbon fiber is extremely strong with an ultimate tensile strength of around 500 ksi (3.5 Gpa). Often, carbon fiber can help strengthen and reinforce other construction materials such as steel, concrete, and timber.