Sand, gravel, crushed stone and recycled aggregates are a critical element in the manufacture of concrete.
Aggregates can account for approximately between 60, and 80 per cent of a concrete mixes volume and in-turn accounts for 75 to 80 per cent of the overall weight. Due to this aggregates can sometimes classified as “filler” but with the introduction of an aggregate to a concrete mix, it can help add some fantastic properties and benefits.
When you utilise an aggregate in a concrete mix, you find that the mix can offer greater volume stability. As aggregates have a lower shrinkage potential than say, cement, it helps prevent the possibility of cracking.
Depending on the project, the overall look could mean everything. With the introduction of an aggregate with colour, shape and texture can help create the desired look and feel of a project when no other material can.
As stated earlier, Aggregates in concrete can account for between 70 and 90 per cent of the overall weight and 60 to 8- per cent of the volume. What may shock you is that aggregates are the least expensive material utilised in concrete, giving builders a far more attractive cost proposition. With the inclusion of a large, coarse aggregate, builders can lower construction costs due to the introduction of a cost-effective aggregate compared to the costly introduction of cement.
Aggregates come in various shapes, sizes, textures and colours making it a fantastic addition to a concrete mix to aid in gaining different design requirements. The composition of an aggregate can be either rough or smooth; a smoother aggregate can improve workability while a rougher aggregate can create a stronger bond.
Aggregates allow builders and designers more flexibility to meet varied construction requirements.