The Uses and Importance of Aggregates in Construction Aggregates have the important role in giving the necessary strength for concrete. A concretes transition is the interfacial region between the paste of the cement and the aggregate and is the one which is responsible in providing the strength for the cement. Aggregates must be round and equiangular in size and must never be irregular and flaky. The use of angular aggregates are highly advised because this kind of aggregate comes with a good interlocking effect that gives minimum surface area and will require less mortar to cover the surface. During the time of extraction of the aggregate, care should be considered to make the aggregate undergo washing or go through sieve analysis before this is used. The presence of harmful materials involving silt, clay or acidic salts can in fact affect the strength and durability of concrete that could potentially lead to inhomogeneity in composition and to the failure of the structure when subjected to eccentric loading. Some associations specify four grading zones for fine aggregates placed in order of decreasing particle size which starts from coarse sand and ends with fine sand. You must consider avoiding using fine sand when it comes to making RCC structures because these are porous and can in fact cause corrosions to the reinforcements.
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Fine aggregates have to include natural sand and crushed natural stone and gravel and these must be able to pass through a sieve of opening for about 4.75 mm where the ones that are retained completely are coarse aggregates that would include uncrushed gravel and stone and big boulders.
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Aggregates have to be inert chemically in nature and needs to be tough sufficiently, hard and needs to have good bearing capacities. A well-graded aggregate that is used in a cement mixture is able to help reduce the presence of air voids and it also helps in providing sufficient strength and durability for the concrete. There actually are some tests that are being carried out to some aggregates like abrasion, impact and soundness tests of aggregates that are being done through dissolving it to a certain solution of magnesium and sodium sulphate. To provide the necessary support for concrete dams which has a huge mass, aggregates which were formed by igneous rocks are the ones that are preferred highly. Though aggregates are usually commonly known as inert fillers in concrete, the different properties of aggregates gives a large impact on durability, strength, workability and also on the economy of concrete. The various properties of aggregates will allow the designers and contractors the flexibility in meeting their design and construction requirements.