Building materials can be natural or man-made. Among the most common building materials are wood, stone, concrete, metals, and bricks. However, these materials require specialized treatment to ensure they are structurally sound. While steel is the most commonly used metal, it can be susceptible to rust and corrosion. To combat this problem, manufacturers can use an aluminum alloy. While more expensive than steel, aluminum is more corrosion-resistant, making it an excellent choice for buildings that face coastal conditions. Other metals used in construction include titanium, brass, and copper. Unlike concrete, steel is less time-consuming to install and can be used in virtually any environment.
Despite being a lightweight metal, aluminum has a wide range of uses, ranging from structural walls to windows, doors, and more. It is nonmagnetic, corrosion-resistant, and an electrical and thermal conductor, but is sensitive to a wide range of chemicals. Another popular building material is plastic, which can be fabricated into a variety of shapes and is inexpensive. It is also a popular choice for many construction products, including windows and doors.
The global building materials industry is a key part of the construction industry. The construction materials industry is estimated to be worth between $2-3 trillion worldwide in 2015, and the primary focus of the building materials industry is the manufacture of essential building components like windows, doors, and HVAC systems. Other building materials include specialty chemicals used in paints, concrete, and other building compounds. With so many materials produced, it is no wonder that the industry has become so diverse.