Civil engineers are responsible to do something about the weather changes and its effects on the architecture. Weather and temperature actually affect everything that we use from car batteries to huge concrete structures. The changes in structure caused by the temperature is known as thermal expansion or thermal contraction. It’s a phenomenon which is always kept in mind while building a bridge or even a sidewalk. This YouTube channel, Practical Engineering, looked at how the weather affects everything.
One of the ways to deal with thermal expansion is to put intentional cracks in the sidewalk. Filling these gaps with a flexible material is known as the expansion joint. This helps a structure to keep its form even with the changes in the temperature. Expansion joints are present in all shapes and sizes. It can be made from clay bricks to molded rubber. Some constructions like railways or air ducts have special breather joints in them which are used to deal with the unique thermal stresses.
Copper is considered for an expansion joint since it fits all sizes. It is a lot more durable and has the ability to take a lot of forms easily. Some researchers are also looking at 3D printing to find a way to make a material which doesn’t react to heat at all. If this material can be developed, it can change the civil engineering entirely.