How Aggregate is used in Construction

Aggregate Stone

The environmental and fiscal benefits of using aggregate in construction are no secret. Being able to repurpose recycled materials to lower costs and improve the overall quality of projects is a major advantage that construction aggregates offer to property owners and city planners alike. But how exactly do construction companies use aggregate? If you can’t think of the answer: Don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list that demonstrates that many ways that aggregate is used.

To Strengthen and Support

Construction workers turn to aggregate most often to strengthen and support various structures. Aggregate provides a strong, hard base for workers to build on top of. Its use as a foundation offers a strong yet flexible base for buildings, bridges, and dams. In roads and railway ballast, aggregates are used to resist the overall (static and dynamic) load as well as to distribute the load properly to the supporting ground.

To Drain Water

When used as a foundation, recycled aggregate also greatly improves drainage for buildings. Construction aggregate also allows water to better drain off of road surfaces. Aggregate is one of the main reasons why your vehicle doesn’t simply sink into the soil during wet spells. While water sticks closely to soil particles, it has a harder time holding on to the voids between aggregates so gravity takes over and allows the water to drain.

To Reduce Shrinkage and Cracking

When concrete is mixed, construction workers mix in more water than necessary with the dry components. This extra water results in a difference of moisture content which produces stresses that ultimately are relived when they crack the concrete structure. These are called “Shrinkage Cracks.” Since water doesn’t affect aggregates like it does soils, the use of construction aggregates keep structures from sustaining shrinkage cracks during dry spells.

Do you know any other uses for construction aggregate? Let us know in the comments below!

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