The Different Types Of Aggregates And How You Should Use Them

Aggregates are the main components you use when making concrete for your construction or landscaping projects. When purchasing concrete aggregate, you'll notice they come in varied sizes and materials. This article discusses the different types of aggregates and their uses. 

What Are The Different Types Of Aggregates? 

Your concrete aggregate supplier can provide you with different aggregates, from naturally occurring to synthetic aggregates. However, the most common ones include crushed stone, sand, recycled concrete, and ballast. Below is a brief review of each aggregate.

1. Sand

Sand is a naturally occurring aggregate made of silicon dioxide in the form of quartz. Sand is commonly used in making concrete aggregate, landscaping, brick manufacture, agriculture, water filtration, painting, as an abrasion material, making artificial beaches, sandblasting, etc.

It's also important to note that there are different types of sand. And each type has its uses. Sharp sand is perfect for slab laying and block paving. Play sand is commonly found in kids' play boxes. Concrete sand is one of the cement's key ingredients and is widely used as a leveling medium or base layer. Building sand is popular in block work, bricklaying, and slab paving. And you use soft-washed sand in block work and brick rendering.

2. Crushed Rock

Crushed rock is a commercial product made when machines mine and break down rocks into smaller pieces. Their key identifier is their angular surfaces. Crushed rock is commonly used in construction and landscaping projects to make concrete for residential and commercial buildings, sidewalks, patios, and driveways. And when you mix crushed rocks with a binder, they make tarmac or asphalt important components of road construction.

3. Recycled Concrete

You obtain recycled concrete when you crush excess concrete from a construction site into the desired size and texture. Alternatively, you can collect recycled concrete from demolished sites. Since recycled concrete is compact, you can use it as a sub-base where you place other construction materials on top of it. You can also use the recycled concrete to construct walkways, raise your garden bed, and build new paths around your home.

4. Ballast

Ballast is the coarsest aggregate that your concrete aggregate supplier can sell you. It's mainly made up of crushed stone, sand, or other granular material like selected earth and gravel. You can use ballast to fill gaps in hardcore, in concrete mixes, and to construct major footings and pathways. Ballast is also popular in railway construction to provide stability. It provides a supportive foundation for sleepers (the components used to support and fix the rails). Once a train passes, it transfers its load to the rails, sleepers, and ballast.

Final Word

The aggregate you use for your construction or landscaping project depends on your needs. If you have further questions, visit a concrete aggregate supplier such as Aggregate Products Co

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Ask any construction worker if they know everything about their profession, and they will generally respond with a resounding "no." This does not mean that construction workers are not knowledgeable about their jobs — they really are! What it does mean is that they are always learning, and that they understand that continuing to learn is a part of the job. That's something we think that most people could stand to learn from. If were were all as open to building knowledge as contractors and builders, imagine what we could learn. We decided to contribute, in our own small part, by writing this blog about construction work. We hope you enjoy and learn from it.

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