Importance of Aggregate in Concrete

June 24, 2015

FSILanscape_image_062415Concrete is used in so many building or home renovation projects. And at first glance, concrete looks like fairly simple material. But any DIY specialist, professional contractor, or aggregate supplier in Toronto knows that good concrete requires good aggregates, and aggregates actually make up the large majority of concrete mixtures.

What Are Aggregates

Aggregates are essentially granular materials used as ingredients to make up the proportion of concrete. These materials can include gravel, sand, or crushed stone mixed with water which are all added to the cement mixture to create concrete.

Purpose of Aggregates

Aggregates serve several purposes. First, aggregates typically make up 60% to 75% of the total concrete mixture. This is significant for many reasons, and shows how important it is to get proper material. If the mixture isn’t made up of strong, clean, aggregates, it can lessen the stability of the mixture, cause the concrete to deteriorate quicker than normal, and negatively impact the rate of shrinkage once the mixture sets.

There are two types of aggregates—fine and coarse. Fine aggregates can fit through a 3/8-inch sieve and are usually made of crushed stone or natural sand, while coarse aggregates can be up to 1.5 inches and are primarily made of gravel.

Aggregation Process

Aggregates are harvested from different resources such as rivers and lakes, or from crushing boulders or large rocks, and then processed so the proper grades and cleanliness levels are met. In choosing the proper aggregates, size become an issue that needs consideration. Flat particles are kept to a minimum, usually about 15% of the total aggregate mixture in weight. It’s the larger pieces of aggregates that are preferred because they decrease the amount of void space in the mixture, which means less of the actual cement mix will be needed.

And the goal is to keep the water and cement mix as low as possible. The excess inclusion of paste increases the chances of cracking once the concrete has set. More reason to be selective when choosing an aggregate for your home renovation project.

Choose the Right Supplier

With FSI Landscape Supply, we’ve been able to distinguish ourselves as one of the most trusted and reliable aggregate suppliers across the GTA. We have harder aggregates made for sharp weather to accommodate the long, cold GTA winters but still carry several options ready for DIY homeowners and contractors to get down and dirty.

Contact us for more information on the products we carry, or just come down to our Brampton location and see everything for yourself. We’ve already helped so many homeowners across the GTA create breathtaking landscapes all from items in our stock. Now we’re ready to help get you excited about completing some thrilling landscaping projects just in time to enjoy the summer.

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