Terminology

aggregates

 

An aggregate is a particle material composed of mineral crystals of one or more kinds of rock fragments to form one collection of material. Construction aggregate specifically includes types of aggregate from coarse, to medium-grained particle-material. The categories of aggregates include gravel, sand, recycled concrete, topsoil, ballast, and geosynthetic aggregates (synthetic products commonly used in civil engineering projects used to stabilise terrain). 



Gravel

 

What is it? 

Gravel is a tough wearing material. By definition, it is a “loose aggregation of small water-worn or pounded stones.”

How is it made? 

It is a group of unconsolidated rock fragments. Gravel can be made in two ways. First, it can form naturally in riverbeds, streams, and other geographical formations. The second, which is used to create construction-grade gravel, is when you crush a group of large rocks together until you’re left with irregular-shaped fragments.



Sand

 

Different types of sand have different physical and chemical compositions. For example, some options have been cleaned and sifted while others will contain salt, like would be found on the beach. The type of project the material is being used for will dictate the composition of the material that is most appropriate for the job.



Recycled Concrete

 

What is it? 

Crushed concrete

How is it made? 

It is either gathered from demolished sites or excess from construction projects.

When would you use it?

For either trench fills, backfills, over-site fills and as granular sub-base for deeper areas



Topsoil

 

What is it?

Topsoil is rich soil which has been screened to remove contaminants.

 

When would you use it?

To help the plants going into your site grow in the healthiest way possible. It offers so many nutrients, and benefits the garden because it assists in improving the nutrient cycle, the amount of organic matter, and the soil’s water-holding capacity.



Ballast

 

What is it? 

Ballast is the coarsest form of aggregate available.

 

How is it made?

Typically made of crushed stone, although ballast has often consisted of less suitable materials such as burnt clay.

 

When would you use it? 

Either in concrete mixes, for filling gaps in, as a concrete component, creating pathways, or major footings.



Make sure you choose the proper aggregate for the intended purpose. Ensuring you use the right aggregates and have the best type of aggregates for your job site is as easy as contacting our team!