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Types of Aggregate

Aggregate is mainly mixed with asphalt, cement, lime, and other binders in the construction industry to become concrete or mortar, which is used as a granular natural material that acts as a skeleton and filling. Aggregates can be categorized into fine aggregates and coarse aggregates. Fine aggregates are the main components that can be made into thin concrete slabs and other structures. Coarse aggregates are used for larger components. The aggregate particle size ranges from 0.1 mm to 50 mm. It can make composite materials increase their strength, stability, and wear resistance. The six main types of aggregates include crushed concrete, sand, gravel, topsoil, ballast, and fly ash.


Natural sand is mainly formed by natural conditions, such as tectonic movement and weathering of rocks. These sands can be used for greening the environment, making bricks, filtering purposes, paving, agriculture, and concrete work. Sand generally has a particle size of less than 5mm and can be divided into natural sand and artificial sand. Natural sand is mainly formed by finer rock particles and mineral particles, while artificial sand is formed by crushing stones. Since natural sand is washed by river water, its hand feel is more delicate than artificial sand.

The main difference between natural sand and artificial sand is that compared with natural sand, the structure of artificial sand is simpler, stable, and the material is excellent. The mineral composition and chemical raw materials are the same. The fineness modulus of artificial sand is less than that of natural sand, and the fineness modulus can be found accurately and quickly by simply passing a simple test.

According to the size of the sand, we can use it in different fields. But most of the sand still appears in the construction engineering industry. Increase the strength and slack of building materials such as asphalt and concrete. We can be divided into sharp sand, construction sand, recycled sharp sand, waste sand, concrete sand, soft washing sand, playing sand, etc. First of all, the finer sharp sand, with a particle size between 0mm and 4mm, can be used as a flat paving project and block paving. Construction sand is used for paving flat roads. The washed reclaimed sharp sand can also be found in the thick slab paving project and the block paving project. Waste sand is often used in pipeline engineering. Another common concrete sand is mainly used as an important component of cement. Soft sand washing is suitable for rendering bricks. Playing in the sand is suitable for children to play with.


Gravel is mainly stone or rock fragments formed by weathering of rocks exposed on the ground. Besides, gravel can also be produced after being eroded by water and deposited by river water. Therefore, we can often find traces of it in rivers, riverbeds, foothills, and piedmont areas. Gravel is suitable for paving garden walkways, garden decoration, drainage systems, driveways, etc. Fine gravel is also one of the important materials for making concrete. Generally, gravel is a tough and wear-resistant material, and its particle size is about 2mm to 64mm. Gravel is eroded by nature and can form stones of various sizes and natural colors. Gravel is the main component of asphalt, so we can easily find the whereabouts of gravel on various roads and parking lots.


Topsoil is the highest layer of soil. The topsoil contains the most organic minerals and microorganisms in the soil. It is overlaid on the bedrock, the soil is relatively soft, and the water content is very rich, but its stability is poor and the changes are great. Plants often draw nutrients from topsoil. Therefore, it is suitable for use in agriculture and floristry industries, mainly for filling gardening areas, laying turf, draining plants, planting, and other purposes. High-quality topsoil can improve the nutrient cycle of the soil and allow the soil to hold more water and organic matter.


Ballast is generally a mixture of crushed stone and sharp sand, so it is one of the coarsest aggregates. Ballast is very suitable to be used as a mixture of concrete. It can be used as garden walls, walkways for paths, foundations for sheds, infill roads, and heavily loaded areas.


Crushed concrete (as known as recycled concrete) is mainly concrete that can be recycled and reused as aggregate. Most of this type of crushed concrete is obtained from demolished sites or remaining construction projects. Afterward, it can be reused after cleaning. There are different sizes and types of crushed concrete, which we can use in different engineering operations. Smaller (generally 50mm in size) crushed concrete can be used as a base for roads, parking lots, and blocks. Larger crushed concrete (generally more than 75mm in size) can be used for filling gabion nets and laying on the ground.


Fly ash is mainly produced by the combustion of pulverized coal and appears in steam power plants and coal-fired power plants. Fly ash can replace natural aggregates with lightweight aggregates, bringing many economic and environmental benefits. It can be used as asphalt filler, stabilize roadbed soil and structural filler, etc.


Aggregate is one of the important raw materials in concrete. Adding appropriate aggregates to the cement and mixing can help support the building. Hope the information above can give you more knowledge about aggregate. If you are looking for aggregate, please contact our customer service at 011-7000 7687 or send your enquiry to Besides, MecHero has a wide range of mechanical hardware products such as mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, piping accessories, bearing, and general mechanical components.

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