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The Different Types of Aggregates That Can Be Used for Building Work

The Different Types of Aggregates That Can Be Used for Building Work


Aggregates are materials used during the construction process and are commonly made up of sand, gravel, crushed stone, concrete or shingle. They are frequently used to provide drainage, fill voids, protect pipes and provide hard surfaces. They are also used in water filtration and sewage treatment processes.

As with all building materials, the different types of aggregates each serve their own purpose and are well suited to particular jobs. Don’t fear if you’re no building expert however.

Sand

Sand is one of the most commonly used aggregates in building work because it can be used in so many different ways. Soft sand is perfect for bricklaying, pointing, paving and building walls whereas sharp sand is ideal when it comes to laying block paving slabs and cobbles. Additionally to this, plastering sand can also be used for plastering and re-pointing brickwork.

Many builders find that a superior finish is achieved when using sand aggregates and it is therefore a very popular choice. Furthermore, the fines in the mix migrate to the surface to reduce water penetration of the concrete - thus increasing the resistance to chemical attack.

Ballast

Ballast is a thicker material and consists of a mix of gravel, stone and sand. It’s the ideal concrete to cement fence posts and fix foundations, can be used for general building work and is frequently using for roofing.

The benefits of using ballast aggregates include the fact that there is a ready source of it available, it has an aesthetically pleasing texture and when used for roofing, it helps to improve energy efficiency. Furthermore, it’s a well-known fact that rocks don’t burn so it’s incredibly fire resistant and it’s incredibly sustainable because it can be removed and reused.

Pea Shingle

Pea shingle is one of the most popular aggregates for driveways, landscaping and paths because as well as well as being an incredibly reliable material, it also reduces weed growth - meaning there is one less thing for homeowners to worry about.

Other advantages of using this aggregate include the fact that it needs less resurfacing, it has incredibly long-lasting properties and will more than likely last until someone decides to change it, it’s easy to maintain and it’s also environmentally friendly.

Mastercrete Cement

When added to water, Mastercrete Cement becomes a great binder for construction applications and can be used as a hydraulic binder for the production of concrete, mortars, grouts and much more. Its benefits include its enhanced resistance to freeze/thaw attack, it has a lower water demand, it’s a more cohesive mix and there is less tendency for water to segregate and bleed when using cement.

Here at Building Materials, the strengths and densities of our aggregates range from soft sand all the way up to reinforced fibre cement. We have every job and scenario covered so please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or would like more information about any of the products we stock.

by Phillip Lidgerton

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