What Exactly Is Concrete Aggregate?
Concrete aggregate is a product that is mixed with cement to make concrete which is hard, durable and long lasting. There are several different kinds of aggregate with a concrete contractor choosing their aggregate depending on the kind of job being done. If you live within a region that has concrete structures, you may see some examples of aggregate displayed.
Using aggregate makes concrete stronger, the aggregate acts like a kind of reinforcement. It increases the life span of the concrete and makes it extremely durable. Contractors can choose fine aggregates made from tiny particles of material or coarse aggregates made up of large pieces. Firms that produce concrete aggregate grade their product by size, which allows contractors to order different sizes.
For aggregate to be effective, it has to be strong. Weak aggregate weakens the resulting concrete, which is not wanted. Aggregate must be hard, thus allowing it to keep its shape and not deform the concrete. Lastly, it has to be clean, which in the construction industry means free of chemicals, clays, and several leached materials which may interact and interfere with how it sets.
The texture of the aggregate is also important. Coarse and porous materials suck the water up in the mixing process, thus needing more water to compensate. This throws off the water to concrete process, requiring the concrete contractor to add more concrete to prevent weakening the mixture. Smoother aggregate doesn’t need extra water and is less likely to crack when the concrete cures.
Sand is an example of a fine aggregate. Rocks and crushed glass are used in large aggregates. Natural materials are quarried and crushed to size. Some firms use recycled materials, such as metal with the idea of keeping usable materials out of the landfills, although concrete aggregate is slightly more expensive. This is due to the fact it has to be totally cleaned before use.
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