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What is Construction Aggregate?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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"Construction aggregate" is a term used to describe materials that are added to concrete and cement mixes as a means of strengthening the compounds for use in different types of building projects. There are a number of different types of materials or particulate that are commonly employed, including crushed stone, gravel, sand, and slag. In recent times, recyclable materials like crushed fragments of older concrete have been used as construction aggregate.

A number of different strategies are used in generating construction aggregate for use in various projects. One approach is to mine natural resources to collect stone that can be pulverized or crushed, as well as to collect of sand. Recycling road metal is another option, as is utilizing the metal slag left from different building and other types of activities. Even using concrete that is rescued from building demolitions can be crushed and used as aggregate in new building projects.

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While all forms of construction aggregate add strength and durability to the concrete used in constructing pavements, walls, and even blocks for use in building projects, the type of aggregate used will vary. Factors such as the degree of pressure the construction must withstand, the texture desired for the finished product, and even the climate during different seasons will have some impact on the selection of the particulate used for any given project. In some cases, local building codes will require the use of specific aggregates with certain types of construction, based on local weather conditions and other relevant criteria.

The selection of a particular construction aggregate or particulate often depends on the type of building project involved. If the construction involves the need to allow the finished product to be somewhat pervious, chances are that an aggregate that is somewhat coarse will be used. When the goal is to produce a finer texture throughout the concrete, finely crushed stones or even pulverized sand is likely to be the medium of choice. Construction professionals are usually well-acquainted with what types of aggregate work best with specific applications, and can recommend the ideal choice for any given project.

Construction aggregate may also be used in applications that do not involve mixing the product with concrete. For example, certain forms of aggregate may be used to create a solid foundation for laying train tracks, or for stabilizing an area of land for the purpose of laying the foundation for a building. The choice of the aggregate will depend on the application and specific circumstances that surround the building project itself.

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