Building Blocks Of Matter Essay

1362 words - 6 pages

Through investigating the various properties of Cement/Concrete/Mortar, Glass, and Ceramics/Porcelain I have come to understand the chemical composition, type of bond, structure, and the daily use of each of the substances. Cement is composed of calcium which usually is acquired from limestone and silicon which is usually from sand, shale or clay (aluminosilicates). The structure of cement is in between the two extremes of an ionic and a covalent model. It is between an ionic oxide lattice and a tetrahedral covalent network. Cement when wet or when dry has both cohesive and adhesive properties. Concrete is created through the mixture of cement (filler), fine and coarse aggregate (binder), and water. With the characteristics of these materials, concrete’s type of bond attributes to its high thermal insulation properties and the strength of the material itself. Concrete is used for building materials and due to its thermal insulation properties as insulators. Mortar is a mixture of cementitious materials, water, and aggregate. For commercial use in buildings and constructions, it is useful by having water retentivity and its strength after stiffening and hardening. In addition, the content in the mortar of cement as well as air content affects the strength of the tensile bond between the mortar and the masonry. Due to the materials that compose mortar, it developed a chemical structure that is similar to its components. Also, in daily use, mortar is used for construction for buildings to attach segments together.
To further investigate the properties of inorganic materials, I will continue with the properties of glass. Glass is composed of formers (usually silica SiO2 ), fluxes (frequently as a carbonate substance or usually soda, potash, and lithia), and stabilizers (usually lime CaO). It is an amorphous or glassy solid in which atoms or molecules have an arrangement similar to a liquid’s. Glass is used for windows, containers, lab ware, kitchenware, fiber optics, and many other products that require the structure and properties of glass (lightbulbs, etc.).
Ceramics are made mainly composed of metallic elements, nitrogen, carbon, or sulfur. These materials are usually used through clay and water to form ceramics that are later baked in a kiln. The structure of ceramics is most often in crystalline form. Though they are composed of mainly a combination of strong ionic and covalent bonds. These types of bonds attribute to ceramic having hardness, high melting points, efficient chemical resistance, low thermal expansion, high elastic modulus, and usually brittleness. Ceramics are used as insulators, watches, automobiles, and airplanes as well as other commercial products and building materials such as tile and glass. In addition, there are two different types of ceramics, advanced and traditional. Traditional ceramics include silicate glass, cement, and clay products. Advanced ceramics are made of pure oxides, nitrides,...

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