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What You Need to Know About Concrete Aggregates

In our experience at Flesherton Concrete Products, many people assume concrete is a simple material, but there is actually more going on in concrete than you might realize. Concrete is made with just a few ingredients: water, cement, sand, and aggregate. For those unfamiliar with the term, aggregate refers to geological products like crushed stone. The aggregate in a concrete mix has a significant impact on the concrete’s properties, as aggregate typically makes up between 60 and 80% of the total volume. In this article, our team will go over some key information you need to know about the different types of concrete aggregates.

  • Sand – We listed sand as its own ingredient in concrete because the vast majority of mixes contain sand in some amount, but technically speaking, sand is an aggregate material. Its fine particles help the concrete mix hold together, allowing the various other components to create strong bonds with each other.
  • Gravel – Another example of concrete aggregates is gravel. Gravel is a natural product created by erosion, and it consists of small stones ranging from about ½” to 1½” in diameter. This material helps give the concrete more strength and durability, as well as stronger bonds. In addition, gravel can be used to give concrete a more striking appearance, so it is often used in sidewalks and pathways.
  • Crushed Rock – A third example of concrete aggregates is crushed rock. Unlike gravel, which is formed naturally when larger rocks break down due to wind or water erosion, crushed rock is man-made—larger rocks are extracted from quarries, then broken down until they have reached the desired size and texture.