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Construction aggregate, or simply "aggregate", is a broad category of coarse particulate material used in construction, including sand, gravel,crushed stone,

slag, recycled concrete and geosynthetic aggregates. Aggregates are the most mined material in the world. Aggregates are a component of composite materials such as concrete and asphalt concrete; the aggregate serves as reinforcement to add strength to the overall composite material. Due to the relatively high hydraulic conductivity value as compared to most soils, aggregates are widely used in drainage applications such as foundation and French drains, septic drain fields, retaining wall drains, and road side edge drains. Aggregates are also used as base material under foundations, roads, and railroads. In other words, aggregates are used as a stable foundation or road/rail base with predictable, uniform properties (e.g. to help prevent differential settling under the road or building), or as a low-cost extender that binds with more expensive cement or asphalt to form concrete. Preferred bitumenous aggregate sizes for road construction are given in EN 13043 as d/D (where the range shows the smallest and largest square mesh grating that the particles can pass). The same classification sizing is used for larger armour stone sizes in EN 13383, EN 12620 for concrete aggregate, EN 13242 for base layers of road construction and EN 13450 for railway ballast. The American Society for Testing and Materials publishes an exhaustive listing of specifications for various construction aggregate products, which, by their individual design, are suitable for specific construction purposes. These products include specific types of coarse and fine aggregate designed for such uses as additives to asphalt and concrete mixes, as well as other construction uses. State transportation departments further refine aggregate material specifications in order to tailor aggregate use to the needs and available supply in their particular locations. Sources for these basic materials can be grouped into three main areas: Mining of mineral aggregate deposits, including sand, gravel, and stone; use of waste slag from the manufacture of iron and steel; and recycling of concrete, which is itself chiefly manufactured from mineral aggregates. In addition, there are some (minor) materials that are used as specialty lightweight aggregates: clay, pumice, perlite, and vermiculite.

Use of the largest permissible maximumsize of coarse aggregate permits a reduction in cementand water requirements.One restriction usually assigned to coarse aggregateis its maximum size. Larger pieces can interlock andform arches or obstructions within a concrete form. Thatallows the area below to become a void, or at best, tobecome filled with finer particles of sand and cementonly. That results in either a weakened area or acement-sand concentration that does not leave theproper proportion to coat the rest of the aggregate. Themaximum size of coarse aggregate must be no largerthan the sizes given in table 13-1. The capacity of themixing equipment may also limit the maximumaggregate size. Coarse Aggregate Properties The properties of the coarse aggregate used in a concrete mixture affects the modulus for a few reasons. One property is the modulus of elasticity of the coarse aggregate. A higher aggregate modulus will result in a concrete having a higher modulus. As expected, a lightweight aggregate will have a lower modulus than the mortar paste. Conversely, a strong aggregate produces a concrete that is stronger than the mortar paste (Zhou 180). In tests, concrete containing a higher percent of coarse aggregate resulted in a higher elastic modulus. As stated earlier, this is due to the aggregate being stronger than the mortar (Cetin and Carrasquillo 256). The particle shape of the aggregate contributes to the effectiveness of producing a high performance concrete. Crushed rock creates a much better bond between the paste and the aggregate than a gravel does. However, the aggregate-mortar bond may be more important in flexure tests than in compression tests. The mineral makeup of the aggregate also influences the modulus of elasticity of concrete. In a study by Aitcin and Mehta, they tested four different types of aggregates: diabase, limestone, gravel, and granite. Their test results showed that the limestone and diabase aggregates gave the highest values for the elastic modulus. The gravel performed poorly because of the weak bond between the aggregate and the cement paste. The granite aggregate, on the other hand, gave the worst results because of its mineral composition. In their granite sample, they found a mineral that is unstable in moist environments which is why the granite specimen's results were poor. Figure 4 shows a sample of a pink granite. Granite has a variety of mineralogical makeups. Therefore, one granite may be much stronger than another.

Aggregates The aggregates normally used for concrete arenatural deposits of sand and gravel, where available. Insome localities, the deposits are hard to obtain and largerocks must be crushed to form the aggregate. Crushedaggregate usually costs more to produce and will requiremore cement paste because of its shape. More care mustbe used in handling crushed aggregate to prevent poormixtures and improper dispersion of the sizes throughthe finished concrete. At times, artificial aggregates,such as blast-furnace slag or specially burned clay, areused. TYPES OF AGGREGATE. Aggregates aredivided into two types as follows:. FINE AGGREGATE. Fine aggregate isdefined as material that will pass a No. 4 sieve and will,for the most part, be retained on a No. 200 sieve. Forincreased workability and for economy as reflected byuse of less cement, the fine aggregate should have arounded shape. The purpose of the fine aggregate is tofill the voids in the coarse aggregate and to act as aworkability agent. COARSE AGGREGATE. Coarse aggregate is amaterial that will pass the 3-inch screen and will beretained on the No. 4 sieve. As with fine aggregate, forincreased workability and economy as reflected by theuse of less cement, the coarse aggregate should have arounded shape. Even though the definition seems tolimit the size of coarse aggregate, other considerationsmust be accounted for.When properly proportioned and mixed withcement, these two groups yield an almost voidless stonethat is strong and durable. In strength and durability,aggregate must be equal to or better than the hardenedcement to withstand the designed loads and the effectsof weathering.It can be readily seen that the coarser the aggregate,the more economical the mix. Larger pieces offer lesssurface area of the particles than an equivalent volumeof small pieces.