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Properties of Materials - Essay Example

According to a survey that was carried out by our firm, we realized that many instances windows were severely damaged. Upon keenly studying the damages, it was realized that it was partly due to environmental factors and partly due to poor maintenance. The damages on the widows caused variations in geometric configuration, composition, porosity and adherence of corrosion products. They also cause environmental pollution and humidity and temperature variations. 2.0 BACKGOUND TO THE STUDY Timber has commonly been used in making window frames, because of its accessibility and ease of processing. It has the lowest thermal conductivity compared to other frame materials. Among the commonly used wood species for window frames are redwood, pine and cedar. Wood can be negatively changed by moisture, which can cause its warping or twisting. This fact makes it a mandatory practice to paint timber windows after a specified duration of time like five years. Another material that has been recently used for window frames is a synthetic material called Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is made up of a chain of repeating units of vinyl chloride. PVC comprises of chlorine, carbon, and hydrogen. The PVC exhibit varying characteristics that try to incorporate different additives considered beneficial for the window frames. In order to reduce brittleness, plasticizers may be added as additives in order to improve the processing. This helps to protect against were and tear coursed by natural agents as solar radiation. PVC windows incorporate reinforcement that aids in increasing rigidity. In turn the reinforcement increases the windows thermal conductivity. These windows are suitable and withstand the harsh environment presented by polluted air and saline conditions; their property of high thermal conductivity plays an important role in these hash environments. However, ultraviolet (UV) radiation on PVC breaks its molecular bonds, resulting in increased brittleness (Taylor, 2000). 2.1 The likely causes of the damages observed Since every material has its own degradation parameters, the environmental factors affecting the materials, and the intensity of these degradation factors, differ from material to material. For example, timber and PVC can undergo biological attacks but aluminum has no such threats. Some of the likely causes of the damages are: structural movement or stump subsidence in the main frame, expansion of the joints between elements and shrinkage or loose fitting in grooves which causes a problem of rattling windows, moisture penetration, weathering or decay, the normal wear and tear, loose hinges and screws and mold and algae caused by airborne spores, which settle on the surface. It also causes any exterior plastic products to go grey over time. 2.2 Remedial remedies Some of the remedial remedies could be: where the timber has deteriorated and has decayed, the repair could require re-fitting segments of the frame(s) using mortise and tenon joints. Complete replacement of the damaged sash should also be considered, cracked, split or broken frames in the window sometimes may be repairable using wood adhesives and clamps, rusted and/or ineffective screws on fittings could be replaced, in some cases, by slightly larger diameter screws, by parallel thread metal tread or by longer screws which are non-corroding, one could also consider removing the damaged/rusted area of wood round the ...Show more


(Insert name of unit here) (Insert here) (Insert name of institution here) 1.0 INTRODUCTION Windows are a major consideration in the design of any building. Windows determine the amount of light entering the building as well as determine the aeration of the room or building…
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Properties of Materials essay example
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