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Aggregates for Construction – How Are They Used? Aggregates have the important role in giving the necessary strength for concrete. A concretes transition is the interfacial region between the paste of the cement and the aggregate and is the one which is responsible in providing the strength for the cement. Aggregates must be round and equiangular in size and must never be irregular and flaky. However, the use of angular aggregates is advised more because such kind of aggregate have a good interlocking effect which have minimum surface area and needs less mortar in covering the surface area. During the time of extraction of the aggregate, care should be considered to make the aggregate undergo washing or go through sieve analysis before this is used. Having the presence of harmful materials like clay, silt or acidic salts will affect the strength and durability of concrete which can lead to inhomogeneity in composition and on the failure of the structure if this will be subjected to eccentric loading. There are some associations that specifies four grading zones for fine aggregates that are placed in order for decreasing particle size that starts from coarse sand and ending with fine sand. You should consider avoiding the use of fine sand in making RCC structures due to the fact that they are porous and can cause corrosions in its reinforcements.
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Fine aggregates includes crushed natural gravel, natural sand and crushed natural stones and these particles must be able to pass through sieve openings for about 4.75mm, but the ones that are completely retained in it are the coarse aggregates that includes uncrushed gravel, stone and big boulders.
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Aggregates needs to be chemically inert in nature and has to be sufficiently tough, hard and must have good bearing capacity. The well-graded aggregates that are utilized in a cement mixture will be able to help reduce the presence of air voids and will also help to provide the necessary strength and durability to the concrete. There are actually some tests that are being carried out to some aggregates such as abrasion, impact tests and soundness tests of aggregates which are done by dissolving them to a particular solution of sodium and magnesium sulphate. To provide the necessary support for concrete dams that comes with a huge mass, aggregates which were formed by igneous rocks are the ones that are utilized. Even though aggregates are known commonly as inert fillers in concrete, the different properties of aggregates have a large impact to durability, strength, workability and on the economy of concrete. Various properties to which aggregates have allows designers and contractors the most flexible option for them to meet their design and the construction requirements.