The term aggregate in building materials generally means a combination of construction materials. Building aggregates include different materials like bitumen, cement, sand, gypsum or crusher etc that are combined together for forming mortar or concrete. It is the aggregate that helps in giving stability, volume and resistance for fighting corrosion and other problems. The requisite physical properties to the finished products are obtained with the help of aggregates.
Types – The building aggregates may be classified into categories as under:
- General Aggregates – The general type comprises gravel, sand, crushed or broken stone, broken blast-furnace slag, burnt shale, boiler ashes, and clay. Useful for general uses for the buildings, this type is quite popular and in great demand.
- Fine Aggregate – The other type, i.e. the fine aggregate means a mixture of crushed stone, sand, crushed slag screenings etc. The fine aggregates are useful for making concrete slabs of a thin type. Other structural elements are made from this fine type of aggregates. Smooth surfacing is the unique feature of fine aggregates.
- Coarse Aggregate – There is another type of aggregates, i.e. coarse aggregate that includes broken stone pieces, gravel, slag and other substances that are coarse in nature. It is useful in making more massive structures.
Different materials that make aggregates – Following are the usual materials that form aggregates for building constructions:
- Limestone – It is a sort of single sized chippings that are used for making concrete aggregates. Decorative surrounds for drives and pathways are also made from limestone. Limestone is available in different sizes ranging from 10 mm to 20 mm. Reasonably priced; limestone is useful for all types of fence posts etc.
- Sharp sand – Known as washed concreting sand or coarse sand, it is the most common item in aggregates. Useful for screening floors, under paving and driveways etc, sharp and is easy to use. This type of sand is also helpful in making building construction aggregates for the users.
- Building Ballast – It comprises sand and 20 mm stone and is used for fence posts and concrete for erecting driveways and paths. Bases for under garden buildings, foundations and concrete floor in extensions etc are also built with this material.
- Crusher run – Available in different sizes, the crusher run is commonly used for making perfect sub-base for driveways while patio projects are also made from this material. Building pads, bases, and other parts are also built with it. Quite durable this material is useful.
- Building sand – Available in yellow and red colours, this type of sand is in great use. General and landscaping projects are made from this type of sand that costs genuine rates. Most of the building owners and architects recommend this type of sand.
- Quartz gravel – This type of building material is also used for aggregating purposes. Genuinely priced, it is much useful for different applications.
Those in making of their building structures may go ahead procuring building aggregates from reliable suppliers.