What Is Aggregate? Properties And Uses
Aggregate is a granular material that is inert and is mixed with other binding materials to produce any building construction material such as concrete or mortar etc such as sand, gravel, crushed stones, recycled concrete, etc.
Aggregate is used as a filler for increasing the volume of the building material because it is cheap as compared to the cement thus decreasing the total construction expenses and most importantly increasing its strength, durability, and hardness.
Properties Of Aggregate:
The properties that define the aggregate quality are of crucial importance for the purpose its being used. Some of these properties are given below.
- The composition of the aggregate defines its reacting properties when it is mixed with cement. There should not be any reacting material present in it that could cause any unwanted result such as deterioration, cracks, etc.
- The size & shape of the aggregate greatly influences the quality of the concrete & the quantity of the cement being used. The durability and strength of the concrete also depend on it.
- The surface texture of the aggregate also defines the strength of the concrete. Such as aggregate with rough & porous surface will provide more strength to the concrete because of the pores filling with cement.
- The specific gravity of the aggregate is also considered during designing of the concrete. Low specific gravity concretes are more weak & absorptive, while high specific gravity aggregates are stronger and considered for a better quality of concrete.
- The specific surface of the aggregate is also used for its grading, which is the surface area per unit weight. It is directly proportional to the particle size of the aggregate. That is why fine aggregate has a very lower specific surface as compared to coarse aggregate.
- The crushing value of the aggregate is an important factor to provide its behavior during the compressive load.
- The impact value provides the behavior of the aggregate during an impact.
Uses Of Aggregate:
Aggregate is the most important and most economic factor in building materials to increase its strength, distribute load and increase the volume of the concrete as it is very cheap as compared to cement. Some of the purposes for which the aggregates being used are:
- As it is very cheap, so they are used as a filler to increase the volume of the concrete to reduce the overall cost of the construction.
- The use of strong and suitable concrete increases the strength & durability of the structure.
- Its other use in concrete helps in the drainage of water
- It also helps reduce cracking when it hardens.