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What Is Aggregate Testing?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2016
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    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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"Aggregate testing" is a term that is used to describe the various methods used to determine if a particular aggregate is the right choice for inclusion in the preparation of a construction product. As part of the testing process, the material being considered as aggregate in the building project will be evaluated on the basis of a number of different factors, including the size of the individual units and the texture that the aggregate provides to the finished product. Factors such as resistance to chemicals or climate will also be considered as part of the aggregate testing.

Since different types of aggregate work best in different types of construction settings, the process of aggregate testing is very important. Evaluating different options and identifying the ones that produce results that are in compliance with local building codes is a key goal of the process. In addition, the choice of aggregate must meet the needs of the builder, especially in terms of making sure the construction is sound and that the completed structure will be safe for use.

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The process of aggregate testing focuses not only on the type of aggregate used, but also the size of the individual units of the product. For example, the use of sand as an aggregate may not be the best option if the concrete mix is slated for use in certain aspects of a building project. Instead, round rocks may be a better option, either as a means of adding stability to the concrete or as a way of adding texture to the building element. When this is the case, the use of a rock crusher to find out which size of rock aggregate will provide the desired result is common. Once the ideal size is identified, the rock crusher can be used to manufacture as much aggregate as needed to successfully complete the project.

In many jurisdictions, there are already specifications regarding which type of aggregate must be used in certain types of construction in order to comply with local building codes. This means that the aggregate testing will focus less on the type of aggregate that must be used and more on determining the size of the aggregate that will produce the best results and ensure that building inspectors approve of the finished product. The range of testing used will depend on the specifics of the building code, and also be impacted by the preferences of the owner of the proposed structure when and as there is room within the code for the use of different types of aggregate.

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