building materials and items used for the walls of buildings. The most important requirements of wall materials, determined by the load-bearing and partitioning functions of walls, are sufficient strength (usually in the range of 5 to 20 meganewtons per m2), minimum density, low heat and noise conductivity, and high resistance to frost (as a rule, not less than 15 cycles), water, and fire. An important characteristic of an individual wall material is the relative amount of labor required to erect walls made of that material.
In modern capital construction, masonry is the most common material used for walls; it includes small-sized blocks, which are placed manually, and large-sized blocks, which are placed by means of cranes. Small-sized blocks include clay and silicate bricks, hollow ceramic blocks, concrete and slag-concrete blocks, and cut blocks of light rock, such as limestone and tuff. The maximum dimensions of small-sized wall materials are 50 × 30 × 20 cm. Large-sized wall materials are blocks, usually of standard-weight, lightweight, or silica concrete, and wall panels—either single-layer panels made of lightweight concrete or multilayer panels made of standard-weight concrete with a layer of thermal insulation.
Local materials—wood (logs and beams) and products made from reed, straw, and peat (reed board, strawboard, and peat slabs)—are usually used for walls in low-rise buildings and temporary structures. These materials are relatively inexpensive; however, they have low durability and require protection from moisture. Materials made from organic fillers and mineral binders, such as arbolit and Fibrolit (a mixture of wood-wool in port-land cement) and wood panels with factory-made thermal-insulation inserts are commonly used for prefabricated low-rise buildings.
Lightweight wall panels made from sheet materials (asbestos cement, aluminum, and glass fiber) with efficient thermal insulation (such as plastic foams and honeycombed plastics) show promise for use as wall materials. Concrete mixes used in erecting cast-in-place concrete walls are also conventionally considered wall materials.
K. N. POPOV