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A Glimpse Into The Future Of Brick Construction

Posted by on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Glimpse Into The Future Of Brick Construction

For a long time, red clay has been the primary material that bricks are made of. However, times have changed. Bricks used in the modern construction industry can be made of various other materials (e.g. plastic). As it is, there are numerous innovative ideas that have the potential to shape the future of brick manufacturing and by extension, the future of the construction industry. Below is a detailed discussion on three among the various innovative ideas. Brick Dust In Concrete Red brick dust has been used in voodoo and black magic for decades now. Ancient spiritualists used a solution of the dust and water to clean entrances/exits around their homes. It was believed that the dust was ‘powerful’ enough to repel evil spirits trying to force entry in one’s house through the entrances/exits. There’s little evidence to support this belief. However, there is sufficient evidence that brick dust can be used as a beneficial additive in the manufacture of concrete. Addition of brick dust has been found to improve the chemical resistance of concrete blocks. By extension, this should improve the durability of concrete structures by a significant margin.  The Cigarette-Butt Brick In the near future, new and recycled bricks used in the construction industry might have a cigarette butt or two infused into their structure. Cigarette butts are introduced into the clay mixture before the bricks are kiln-dried. Addition of cigarette butts into the structure of clay bricks could bring down the future cost of this construction material significantly. This is because the production of ‘cigarette-butt’ bricks has been found to use nearly half the amount of energy used for the production of traditional bricks . The lower cost of production easily translates to a lower market price for the finished product. In future, smokers might find themselves collecting cigarette butts for recycling alongside recyclable plastic bottles. The Plastic-Concrete Brick Concrete building blocks might also have a plastic component in the near future. Rather than recycling waste plastics conventionally, the plastics are reduced to a fine powder and incorporated into the cement that’s used to make concrete building blocks. A significant advantage of this is that it brings down the cost of plastic recycling. It eliminates the need for conventional recycling processes (e.g. melting and injection moulding) that are relatively expensive. The 21st century is indeed the age of environmental awareness and the construction industry is not lagging...

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Tips for Constructing Concrete Columns for Building Structures

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips for Constructing Concrete Columns for Building Structures

Concrete columns are vital to the construction of building structures. The columns may be constructed for support, and, in some cases, they are used in decorating the building to create a specific visual impression. In the olden days, concrete columns were used in beautifying the buildings. If you look at most historical buildings, you will discover that the concrete columns were used to enhance them. However, reinforced concrete columns are essential in giving a building structure well-founded strength. Several components, such as formatubes, are used in building concrete columns. Here are some tips for constructing concrete columns for building structures. Setting up a concrete base  A strong concrete base is required for column forming. Excavate a ditch to a depth capacity and construct a slab form that will be used as a base. You should make use of the polyethylene builders film as the concrete slab underlay, which is used to block vapor continuously. Concrete needs support for supplementary strength and to prevent cracks. Therefore, you should add a steel bar to the foundation before pouring the concrete. Concrete mixture After setting up your base, you can pour the concrete into it. A concrete mixture comprises of four components – sand, water, cement, and small stones or gravel. To form a concrete mix in smaller batches, you should mix 1 bucket of cement, 3 buckets of sand, 3 buckets of the small stones or gravel, and ½ bucket of water to form a paste that will bind all the components together until it hardens. (The buckets are substituted for cubic feet.) You should maintain the proportion of the components even if you are forming a concrete mix in larger batches. Concrete column There are several ways of forming a concrete column. You can form a column with steel bars or purchase the ready-made concrete column. You could also make use of innovative concrete forming tubes, such as formatubes. These tubes are the easiest and fastest way of creating columns for building constructions. Once the concrete has been poured into the tubes or forms, they can be removed when the concrete has hardened to a satisfactory level. The tubes are particularly designed for concrete column construction below and above the ground. They require little bracing to stand upright when used for concrete forming. Talk to a company like The Tubeworks about using formatubes for your concrete columns. Concrete column forming tubes are useful for constructing commercial buildings, shopping malls, large residential projects, bridges, skyscrapers and other structural buildings. They help to simplify construction processes and speed up building projects by saving time and...

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What to Look For in a Laser Cutting Shop

Posted by on Jul 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What to Look For in a Laser Cutting Shop

Many production facilities will send out pieces to be cut, as it’s often cheaper and easier to have a machine shop or specialty shop cut metal, plastic, and other materials than it is to invest in the ownership of certain cutting machines. Along with the cost of ownership, there is the cost of maintaining those machines and keeping a qualified operator on staff that needs to be considered. A laser cutting shop can be a good choice for a number of products and processes, but note what to look for from such a shop before you decide to work with them to get your materials cut. Note if they can accept your particular drawings or specs Many shops work from CAD drawings and such specs, but your drawings may have been made in a program that is not typically used by cutting shops and facilities. Your drawings may also have text on them or symbols that your business uses in particular and which might not be recognized by the programs used by the laser cutting service. Always ask about this if you use a program that is proprietary to your company or that might not be compatible with a cutting company’s programs for any reason. Ask if they can offer 3D cutting If you will need rounded materials cut, you want to note if the laser cutting company can offer 3D cutting. Some laser machines only cut on a flat surface and may not be able to turn your materials or rotate the laser to reach all sides with one cut. In turn, this may result in a longer cutting time and the need to change the program in order to provide beveled edges, grooves on one side of the piece, and so on. To ensure you get your rounded or double-sided materials cut quickly, ask about 3D cutting or other similar methods they may offer. Note if they can engrave your product as well If you need to send your pieces out to an engraver after it has been laser cut, this is an added step that takes more time to get the piece finished. Not all laser cutting machines will be able to actually engrave a piece, depending on their programming and the type of laser used. However, if you can use a shop that provides this where needed, your cutting will be done more quickly and possibly even more precisely, as a laser engraving is typically much more precise than a metal stamp or other such...

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Industrial Fittings: Selecting the Ideal Hydraulic Hose Couplings

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Industrial Fittings: Selecting the Ideal Hydraulic Hose Couplings

The hose couplings in your hydraulic industrial machinery will determine the efficiency of the equipment. If these fittings are weak or do not match the system, you will experience significant leaks. This could lead to unexpected failure and expensive repairs. Therefore, it is important to choose your couplings carefully when buying replacements during maintenance and repair. Here are simple considerations to help you identify the ideal hydraulic hose couplings for your industrial application. Material Choice The right coupling material for your hydraulic machinery is important in determining the durability, performance and general suitability of your fittings. Therefore, you should be diligent in evaluating and comparing different materials before choosing the perfect match. Steel is an ideal choice for general hose coupling application. The material is strong and durable, and you can choose the stainless steel alternative if you are concerned about rust and corrosion. Brass is also a hardwearing material, so it is suitable for long-term usage in harsh industrial settings. It also has antimicrobial properties due to copper content, so it is a perfect choice where germs are an important factor. In addition, the material has low friction characteristics; this means that sparks cannot be produced during operation. If you are looking for lightweight fittings with resistance to corrosion and rust, consider selecting aluminium or plastic couplings. Application Conditions The material is an important factor in determining the suitability of a coupling for a specific application. However, the fabrication materials are not consistent in worth or performance. So, you must consider the ratings for each product in relation to the conditions in the application. Pressure is important in hydraulic systems because the fluid is in closed circulation. Therefore, ensure that the coupling can handle the pressure level and stress in your machinery. If your machinery handles hydraulic fluid at extreme temperature, a corresponding heat or freeze resistant coupling is critical. This will ensure that the fitting does not fail due to stress. You should also inquire about the compatibility of the fluid in terms of viscosity and chemical resistance. In addition, consider the environment and potential for abrasion, impact and accidental exposure to electricity before purchase. Coupling Design Finally, the design will determine the compatibility of the couplings with the hydraulic hoses. Basically, this refers to the connection method between the hose and connector. The most common design is the threaded coupling which joins male and female configurations. Mated angle couplings are joined mechanically by through pressure while O-ring connectors have an elastomeric gasket which forms a tight...

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A Few Things to Remember When Choosing Custom Made Boxes

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Few Things to Remember When Choosing Custom Made Boxes

Custom made boxes can make shipping your items much easier for you, as they can cut down on the amount of filler material needed. They can also help to create brand awareness with your customers as well. When you’re ready to order custom made boxes for your product, note a few important tips to remember. This will ensure you get the right boxes and take advantage of the many features they offer. 1. Weight adds up The weight of your boxes will matter because most shipping companies charge according to weight, not just size. You need durable boxes that will provide support for your items, but if they’re thicker than what’s needed, you’re simply adding unnecessary weight to your shipments. You may not think much about this but consider that there are sixteen ounces in a pound; for every sixteen boxes you ship out that are an ounce heavier than you need, that’s an extra pound added to your shipping charges. For every sixteen hundred boxes that are an ounce heavier, that’s a hundred extra pounds you’re being charged for shipping, just for your boxes alone! If your company ships hundreds of boxes every day or every week, these charges will add up, so make sure to choose the lightest box that will be strong enough to hold your materials. 2. Create brand awareness You may think that customers who get their items shipped to them have already made their purchasing decision so you don’t need to create awareness of your product, but this is very shortsighted. The more often customers see your logo, trademark and the like, the more readily they will remember it for future purchases. Be sure your box creates brand awareness by having your logo or another associated symbol stamped inside or out, and use distinctive colors that are associated with your company where possible. 3. Leave some room While you want to get shipping boxes that fit your product in particular, you also want to leave some room in the box rather than choosing something too snug. Then you can add protective filler when needed and also add in a bill of lading, packing slip, assembly instructions, return instructions and the like. It can be good to actually wrap your items in the best packing material and then add whatever other materials are needed, such as that booklet that tells them how to assemble the item, and then measure these dimensions before buying boxes and trying to force your items...

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Flex versus rigid ductwork for the HVAC system in your home

Posted by on Feb 9, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Flex versus rigid ductwork for the HVAC system in your home

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) refers to the technology used to create indoor comfort within the house. The objective of a good HVAC system is to ensure that there is thermal comfort in the house, as well as quality air. The technology employs heating components, air conditioners, and ductwork to facilitate the flow of air from one point to another. The ductwork is as important as the other HVAC equipment, which makes it elemental for you to have an appropriate one installed. Here are some details on both flex and rigid ductwork to help you make the right choice regarding the ductwork for your HVAC system: Flex ductwork Flex ductwork for an HVAC system is made from thin aluminium foil or plastic. A long coil of wire or metal strap is used to support the whole cross section of the ductwork. During installation, wires or cotton straps are used to support the ducts against poles to hold them in position. Preferably, wide straps should be used to support the ductwork because thin wires increase the constrictions along the ductwork. These constrictions can interfere with the flow of air in the ducts, limiting the efficiency of ventilation and thermal regulation. Flex ductwork is cheaper than rigid metallic ductwork. Its installation also takes a shorter time, which costs you less in terms of labour. Moreover, the flexible nature of the material used to make flex duct enables it to pass through tight spaces and make sharp turns. This is often difficult when using rigid ductwork. On the downside, the material used to make flex ductwork is not as durable as that used in rigid ductwork. For instance, the material can be easily punctured by rodents or become brittle and collapsible after being used for many years. Rigid ductwork Rigid duct for your HVAC system is made using thin metallic sheets of aluminium. The interior of these ducts is smooth, which facilitates the flow of air between the heating or ventilating component and the room. Unlike flex ductwork, the rigid alternative has no constrictions at the points of support, which improves the flow of air.  Insulating the outer side of the rigid ducts ensures that no fibres make their way into the air stream, which helps to keep the air pure. The insulation also helps to protect the ductwork against harmful ultra-violet rays and damage by rodents. However, rigid ductwork is hard to work with in tight spaces and around bends. It is also more expensive than flex ductwork because of its durability and improved efficiency in terms of air...

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How to Choose the Right Precision Engineering Company

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How to Choose the Right Precision Engineering Company

If you are in the position to hire a precision engineer, you might be wondering what specific factors to look for during your search for the ideal candidate. What is more important—education, work experience, their portfolio, or a balanced combination? Considering the complex nature of a precision engineer’s job, it is understandable to be confused about the most important characteristics of a profession in this industry, so the following list should help you become more familiar with choosing your next employee or contractor. It’s All About the Team When looking for a precision engineer, it’s actually best to look for a full-fledged company that prides itself on teamwork and a quality product. While there are plenty of individual contractors available, a single mind can’t offer the diverse perspectives, expertise, and experience that a larger team can, and in engineering, these three qualities are of the utmost importance when designing stellar products. Larger companies can also offer consulting services with those who aren’t solely precision engineers to ensure your finished product is perfect all-around. Location Although you may be tempted to hire a highly regarded company regardless of their location, you should consider this factor into your decision. Because your contractor will be completing heavy-duty work that will likely need your constant oversight and approval, long-distance relationships can complicate the work process and be an inconvenience if you’re constantly travelling back and forth. The completed machine will also need to be transported, and in the end, the closer the better. Portfolio Although education and years in the industry are important aspects to consider, by far the most influential factor on your choice of precision engineer should be that engineer’s “portfolio” or past work. Machines they have created for past clients will speak volumes towards their ability to follow directions and deliver an effective product. Finding a client from five to ten years ago can also be beneficial in determining their work’s lifespan and durability. Cost Industry standards vary, so you will most likely run across various pricing structures— from entire payment upfront, to hourly contracts, to monthly installments. Companies that offer a fair (but not exuberant) estimate from the beginning and stick to it should be valued over those that want you to “pay as you go” without setting boundaries beforehand. Don’t be afraid to shop around since all precision engineering companies will have different work processes and therefore different costs....

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Choosing Frame Material For Residential Carports

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Choosing Frame Material For Residential Carports

The decision to invest in a residential carport is definitely a wise one; however, bringing this decision into reality requires the homeowner to choose between different carport frame materials, among other important decisions. The choice of frame material has a significant impact on the physical appearance of the carport as well as its longevity. This article discusses some of the materials commonly used to make carport frames for the benefit of those looking to invest in a residential carport. PVC Carport frames made of PVC are among the most commonly used in the residential setting. PVC-framed carports are preferred for a number of reasons including the fact that they are among the most affordable carport options. This stems from the fact that production of PVC frames is relatively cheap and can be done in bulk. PVC-framed carports are also preferred for their low-maintenance nature. PVC frames are rust- and corrosion-free, and they often don’t need to be painted or stained once they’ve been installed. A potential drawback of PVC frames for residential carports is that this material is known to expand and contract when exposed to excess sunlight for extended periods of time. As such, incorrectly installed PVC-framed carports can easily develop roof leakages as a result of frame expansion and contraction. Aluminium-Framed Residential Carports Aluminium-framed carports are also a popular choice for a large number of homeowners. Aluminium is preferred for the fabrication of carports for its 100 percent recyclability, among other reasons. This creates less ongoing demand for new raw materials used in frame fabrication. Aluminium-framed carports are therefore an eco-friendly choice. The durability of aluminium-framed carports also explains their wide popularity. Timber-Framed Residential Carports Residential carports that come with timber frames are often preferred for their aesthetic value. These carports have a high aesthetic appeal thanks to the natural appearance of the frame material; however, timber-framed carports are not ideal for use in areas that receive high amounts of precipitation and moisture. This is because the carport frames will rot upon exposure to excess moisture, thereby affecting the structural integrity of the carport. Homeowners who choose timber-framed carports need to ensure that the structure’s roof significantly overhangs its sides, front and back. This will help to reduce the likelihood of rain water running down and accumulating on the timber frames. The right choice of carport frame material will ensure that homeowners get the most out of their investment. Contact a company like Alpha Industries for more information on installing a...

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Why Choose Plastic Joiners

Posted by on Dec 2, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Why Choose Plastic Joiners

Building projects of all sizes require some form of connector to link different pieces. When it comes to connectors, the two main alternatives are plastic and metal. Metal may appear to be the sturdier option. However, plastic connectors provide a great deal of support. They are widely used in both residential and commercial building. Whether you are building something out of a box or from scratch, these little pieces help to adjust and secure edges, making the finished project complete.  Advantages of Plastic Joiners Traditional construction has relied on metal joiners. However, the use of plastic joiners is increasing. When a joiner is made from a strong grade of plastic, it can support a weight that is comparable to a joiner made from metal. Plastic joiners also offer the benefit of being flexible which makes them easier to install. In addition, plastic joiners are more lightweight than joiners made from metal. This makes them easier to work with and adjust. It also makes them easier and cheaper to transport. This is reflected in the cost, making plastic joiners less expensive than metal joiners. Finally, plastic joiners meet industry standards for construction. They are sturdy enough to withstand harsh conditions without cracking or breaking. Choosing the Correct Plastic Joiner There are hundreds of types of plastic joiners to choose from. They differ in size, shape and color. Each type of plastic joiner is designed for a specific function. The one you choose will depend on the type of connection you need to create. For example, plastic caps are used in the construction of items such as shelves. These caps are flat pieces of plastic that can attach onto an edge or cover a screw, giving the connections of your project a rounded and finished look. Corner joiners are used to snap two or more pieces together. Plastic joiners can attach anywhere from 2 to 5 pieces together to create corners. This provides a sturdy base for your project that can withstand pressure.  Finally, tube connectors are round pieces of plastic that can be used to join cables or tubing. Tube connectors made from plastic are strong enough to maintain a connection but lightweight enough that they do not hinder flow through the tubing. Overall, plastic joiners have a lot to recommend them. They are comparable in function to metal joiners, but are lighter weight and less expensive. They are also easy to use for both industrial and home...

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Mobile Crane Safety: Operational Checklist for Proper Critical Lift Planning

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mobile Crane Safety: Operational Checklist for Proper Critical Lift Planning

Mobile cranes are extremely useful for a variety of construction applications, particularly when compared with tower/other stationary cranes. They use up little space, are easier to manoeuvre in limited space, have multiple turning axles giving them more hoisting power and they require minimal assembly time. However, just like all cranes, there are inherent dangers associated with mobile crane operation, hence the need for careful planning prior to operation to prevent incidents that may result in property damage and injuries and fatalities within the construction site. The following are important points to be considered during critical lift planning: Critical lift definitions All crane lifts demand intimate knowledge of the load weight, including all other components that contribute to this weight among other factors. However, critical lifts require more detailed planning and surveillance by qualified persons. Critical lifts are defined as lifts which: require two or more cranes working together hoist loads exceeding 75% of any crane’s rated capacity include lifting of personnel involve lifting directly above on-site personnel on moving exit the direct view of the operator at any point include irreplaceable, irreparable or otherwise valuable loads include loads that could potential damage other utilities or equipment are potentially unstable during lifts occur in congested areas among many obstacles, e.g. power lines, pipelines and permanent structures involve flips, turns, shock loading or side loading manoeuvres occur in poor/unknown soil/ground conditions Critical lift plan drafting points It is advisable to draw up a formalized lift plan for all critical lifts, which must be approved by a qualified manager before every lift operation. The plan may span just two or several pages depending on what information is considered necessary. It must evaluate the mobile crane’s configuration, precise rigging and loading details and rated capacity. In addition, it should evaluate any other components which may contribute to structural or stability failures while the crane is in operation e.g. the hoist line or rigging. The following are the most important details to be included in the lift plan: Lift description, including drawings Mobile crane configuration – details such as: counterweights used, erected or stowed jib, lifts from main hoist or jib, offset angle and length of jib, load line part numbers, load line size, boom length, maximum load radius, boom-point elevation, load/boom clearance distance, boom length, origin angle and destination angle etc. Crane rated capacity: over-the-side, over-the-front and 360 degree rotation Load weights including: empty load mass main block spreader/lifting bar headache ball shackles and slings jib effective weight auxiliary line weight hoist line weight any other items specified as part of load weight by crane manufacturer Rigging capacity, with slings and load attachments Load percentage of crane’s rated capacity Any factors affecting crane’s rated capacity From this information, a qualified manager should assess whether or not it is safe to use the crane for the intended...

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