Metals are versatile housing materials because they can be shaped in so many ways. They are available in a variety of natural colors or can be coated for a wider array of colors and for added protection. Metals are strong, decorative, and good conductors of heat and electricity. CAST IRON is made of iron and carbon, melted in a furnace and cast into shapes such as wood burning stoves, bathtubs, sinks, skillets, sewer lines, waste disposal systems, lawn furniture and gas pipes. BRONZE is an alloy of copper and tin, forming WROUGHT IRON is a strong, beautiful, nearly pure iron used stately material that for ornamental lawn weathers well. It is used furniture, lighting for thresholds, screws, fixtures, fences, and plumbing supplies, and staircase/porch decorative pieces railings. including sculpture. BRASS is an alloy of copper and zinc, ranging in color from a coppery red to silvery white. Tin can be added or it can be coated with clear enamel to prevent tarnishing. Ir can be cast, hammered, stamped, rolled, or drawn into bolts, screws, pipe fittings, wire, furniture, and decorative pieces. ALUMINUM is lightweight, highly resistant to corrosion, an excellent COPPER is most conductor of electricity, a good important for it’s electrical reflector of light and heat, easily and heat conductivity, and formed into many shapes, and resistance to corrosion. receptive to many finishes. Exposed to moist air, it Aluminum can be “extruded” into becomes coated with a window and door frames, railings, thin layer of green and hardware. It can also be “cast” carbonate that protects it into lamp bases, plant stands, from further corrosion. It cookware, and grills. It can be is used in wiring and “rolled” into range hoods, roofing materials, awnings, garage doors, appliance cookware, lamps, and panels, and ductwork. decorative pieces. LEAD is a heavy but workable metal STAINLESS STEEL is resistant to steel with chromium corrosion. It is used added, making it hard under showers and and corrosion as liners for pools, resistant over a wide and in drainage temperature range. It pipes. It expands and is used for gutters, contracts in different downspouts, cooking temperatures, and it and eating utensils, can cause lead appliances, sinks, poisoning… limiting countertops, and many household even furniture. applications. It is used in leaded window designs. Glass is the only housing construction material that allows the passage of light and permits a clear view. It does not conduct electricity and is almost completely corrosion resistant. The “tensile strength” of glass refers to the amount of force that glass can withstand without breaking. Tensile strength can be increased by increasing thickness or by applying certain production techniques. It is decreased by scratches, imperfections, and rapid temperature changes. Float glass is a flat glass, less expensive and better quality than sheet glass or plate glass. It is distortion-free, can be made in various strengths and thicknesses, and in very large sheets. It can be tinted to reduce heat transmission and glare. Hand blown glass is expensive but beautiful. It is used primarily for art pieces, vases, and fine glasses. Stained glass refers to glass colored by pigments or metal oxides fused to glass. Types of decorative glass include patterned, etched, cut, or enameled. Patterned safety glass is often used for tub or shower enclosures. Cut glass sparkles. Etched glass appears frosted. Enameled Crystal is perfectly clear glass. glass has color added Lead crystal contains lead oxide, to it’s surface. giving it clarity and sparkle. Clay is easily shaped, but firing that clay at high temperatures preserves the shape, color, and texture. After firing, this “ceramic” also becomes resistant to heat, cold, moisture, acids, and salts. It can be glazed, colored, and textured for decoration. Glazing increases it’s strength and seals it to make it waterproof. Roofing tile is expensive and more porous than other roofing materials. Mosaic tile is Glazed tile made of porcelain or natural clay; smaller in size, Quarry tile or smoother, and pavers are the brighter in color. strongest ceramic tiles. Pottery refers to ceramic Earthenware products are casual, objects such as dinnerware, porous, fragile, and opaque. cookware, and vases. There are Generally red or brown, it is used for three types… flower pots, casual dinnerware, and folk pottery. Stoneware is made of finer clay than Porcelain is fired at very earthenware, usually high temperatures to a light brown or gray in white, finely textured finish. color. It is fired at It is completely “vitrified” higher temperatures, (made into glass) and very making it waterproof hard. It has a delicate and durable. It appearance, and is used accepts subtle colors for fine dinnerware or for with a matte finish. sinks and bathtubs. Plastics are usually reasonable in cost, moisture and corrosion resistant, lightweight, tough, and easily molded into complex shapes. Plastics are replacing many natural building materials due to low maintenance requirements. Wood is a hard, fibrous substance that forms the trunk, stems, and branches of trees. It can be processed to make lumber, plywood, or other wood products used in construction. Wood can be generally classified as either a hardwood or a softwood. Softwoods are strong and resilient, but they do not accept finishes as well as most hardwoods. They are most commonly used in construction. Examples are cedar, cypress, fir, pine, and redwood. Hardwoods tend to be more expensive than softwoods. They resist denting and scratching better and their surfaces yield smooth finishes with attractive grain patterns. Hardwoods are most often used for flooring and furniture. Examples are ash, beech, birch, cherry, elm, mahogany, maple, oak, poplar, and walnut. LUMBER is wood sawed from logs into boards of various sizes. MILLWORK is processed lumber, such as doors, window frames, TIMBER is lumber that is 5” or larger shutters, trim, panel work, and in width and thickness, and is used molding. mainly for support posts or beams. LAMINATED TIMBER is layers of wood glued together with all the grain running in one direction…simply making thicker pieces of timber. PLYWOOD is made from thin sheets of wood called veneers or plies. They are glued together to form a panel, with the grain of one ply running at right angles to the grain of the next ply to give it strength and prevent warping or splitting. The outer plies might be fine, attractive veneers if used in furniture, or rough layers if used in floors and walls. HARDBOARD is a type of composite board made from refined wood fibers that are pressed together. One or both sides may be smooth. PARTICLE BOARD is a type of composite board made from wood flakes, chips, and shavings that are bonded together with adhesives. BLEACHES remove the natural color of the wood to give it a pale or weathered appearance. FILLERS are often applied to wood such as VARNISHES are used as top oak, walnut, and mahogany that have “open coats, emphasizing wood grain”. By filling the pores of the grain, the grain and deepening wood finished surface will be smooth with an even tones. color. SHELLAC is a type of vanish designed to seal wood under STAINS add color to wood OIL penetrates a final top coat. without masking grain wood to highlight LACQUER is a durable top patterns. They are oil-, the grain, darken the coat, producing a glossy alcohol-, or water-based. wood, and produce finish. a soft luster. POLYURETHANE is a clear finish that dries quickly, wears well, and has a high resistance to chemicals, WAX is used over alcohol, and grease. It is other surfaces to popular for wood floors. produce a smooth EPOXY RESIN is an excellent luster, but must be floor and exterior finish renewed because of durability. frequently. Masonry materials are versatile, durable, and beautiful. They are more expensive than wood products, but require less maintenance. BRICK is fireproof, weather-resistant, and easy to maintain. It is popular for fireplaces, chimneys, walls, and floors. Bricks come in a variety of colors and sizes. Colors vary with the chemical make up of the clay used to make them and the time and temperature used to fire them. Mortar is used between the bricks to bond them together and seal the spaces between them. Glass blocks are hollow units of clear, rippled, or frosted glass. Some of the air has been removed from the hollow core to prevent condensation and improve insulation value. They give privacy but allow light. Stone is difficult to work with in building, so is labor intensive and therefore expensive. It has varied colors and textures to provide visual interest. It is fireproof and resistant to decay, and gives a feeling of Types of natural stone permanence and stability. include granite (hard and durable), sandstone (porous and prone to dampness, with poor insulation value) , limestone (weathers rapidly in humid climates), marble (expensive and luxurious but not as durable as granite), and slate (hard and brittle, made from compressed clay or shale). Manufactured stone (made from lightweight concrete or fiberglass) and terrazzo (durable material made from marble chips bonded together with cement) are stone-like materials. Concrete is used for foundations, exterior walls, floors, walks, and driveways. It is economical, tough, weather resistant, and long lasting. It can be colored, have an exposed aggregate (pebbles in it show up), be textured, or be scored into geometric patterns. Carpets, rugs, upholstery, and curtains are common textile products used throughout the home to add color, texture, and comfort. Fibers are the basic element of all fabrics, and are combined to form a yarn that is woven, knitted, or fastened together. Fibers are either natural or manmade from chemical sources. MANUFACTURED FIBERS These fibers are derived from substances found in nature such as wood pulp or petroleum. They are chemically NATURAL FIBERS engineered into fibers. Cotton and flax are from plant sources; silk Examples are acetate, rayon, from silkworms, wool from sheep, and some triacetate, acrylic, glass, specialty hair fibers are from protein sources, metallic, nylon, olefin, and asbestos is from a mineral source polyester, rubber, saran, spandex, and vinyon. Several fibers twisted together are called a “yarn”. That yarn will eventually be woven, knitted, or The size and texture of a yarn depends fastened together to create a on the types of fibers from which it is fabric. made, how tightly the fibers are twisted together, and the number of plies or strands it has. Cotton: absorbent, shrinks in hot water, easy to dye, highly flammable; used for sheets, towels, bedspreads, kitchen curtains, rugs Silk: lustrous, expensive, yellows with age, water spots; used for draperies, upholstery, lampshades, and wall hangings Flax or Linen: strong, lint free, durable; used for tablecloths, draperies, kitchen towels Wool: warm, absorbent, wrinkle resistant, low flammability, expensive; used for blankets, carpets, upholstery, rugs Acetate: easy to dye, drapes well, soft and luxurious, nonabsorbent; used for bedspreads, draperies, fiberfill Acrylic: resembles wool, soft and warm, colorfast, generates static electricity, resists mildew, moths, mildew, and sun damage; used for blankets, carpeting, upholstery, draperies, fiberfill Glass: fiberglass is strong and heavy, resists heat, flames, and most chemicals; used for draperies and insulation Metallic: colorfast, durable, resists Polyester: colorfast, easy to dye, moths, mildew, and shrinking; used for retains shape, resists wrinkles, draperies, slipcovers, tablecloths generates static, subject to pilling; used for awnings, blankets, Nylon: very strong and durable, lustrous, carpets, draperies, fiberfill, sheets, lightweight, drapes well, generates static; tablecloths used for upholstery, outdoor furniture covers, draperies, carpet Rayon: resembles cotton, drapes well, wrinkles, highly flammable; Olefin: quick drying, resists abrasion, used for sheets, curtains, chemicals, moths, and shrinking; used upholstery for awnings, carpeting, doormats Fabrics with a “twill weave” have diagonal lines or wales. They form a strong fabric that resists wrinkles and hides soil. (denim A “plain weave” is a simple over and and gabardine) under weave, forming a strong, durable fabric. (percale, broadcloth) A “satin A “jacquard weave” weave” is produces a characterized smooth and by intricate lustrous fabric patterns. that lacks (damask, durability and brocade, and snags easily. tapestry) (satin) Fabric with a “leno weave” is “Knitted” fabrics are made by mesh-like, such as some interlocking yarns. Though blankets and curtains. not common in home furnishings, knits are used in some bedding and curtains. “Foam” is the result of incorporating air into a rubber or polyurethane substance; it’s used for pillows, “Tufting” is a construction method, primarily used to cushions, furniture make carpet. Tufting machines loop yarns into a padding, and backing material. This is usually followed by a latex carpet backing. coating to hold the yarns in place. “Felt” is a fabric made directly from wool fibers, in a process using heat, moisture, and pressure to permanently press and interlock the fibers together. It is used for sound-proofing, insulation, padding, and decorative items. “Non-woven” fabrics are made by bonding non-wool fibers to make goods such as mattress pads, backing for furniture and box springs. “Leather” has no fibers, but is used as a fabric. Manufactured from animal hides, leather is expensive, beautiful, durable, and moisture resistant. Color can be added to textiles in several different ways. “Yarn dyeing” colors the fibers or yarn prior to fabric production. “Piece dyeing” colors the entire piece of fabric after it is made, and “printing” applies a design to pre- made fabric. Fabrics may receive one or more finishes after construction to add desirable qualities: antistatic (reduces buildup of static electricity), beetling (improves luster and absorbency on linen), bleaching (whitens natural fibers), calendering (produces a smooth polished surface), crease-resistance (resists wrinkling), flame-retardant (reduces chance of burning), fulling (improves the appearance of wool), mercerization (improves luster and strength), moth- repellent (repels moths from wool), mildew-resistant (prevents mildew), napping (pulls up fiber ends such as in velvet), preshrunk (shrinks the fabric before sale to the consumer), sanforized (reduces shrinkage), Scotchguard (resists water and oil stains), soil resistant (makes fabric less absorbent), water repellent (coats fabrics with wax, metals, or resins to resist water).
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