Aggregates are one of the ingredients used in the making of concrete. They are basically granular material probably of crushed stone, sand or gravel. These are the substances that are mixed with water and cement to make concrete. It is however essential to choose the right type of aggregate as well as make sure that the aggregate is clean. Washed aggregate concrete has a longer life since the substances that usually cause concrete deterioration are removed. Apart from that the aggregates chosen should have hard strong particles. This is necessary due to the fact that the aggregates usually comprise the highest percentage in the concrete at an estimated percentage of about 60 to 70 percent.
Most of the aggregate materials are usually sourced from natural water bodies like sea beds and rivers. This is what is usually referred to as harvesting. Once harvesting is complete there are several other processes that follow to ensure that the substances are ready for use. The main processes that follow harvesting are crushing, screening and washing. This ensures proper gradation of the material as well as cleanliness. The exposed aggregates are then properly stored to reduce contamination and segregation. The aggregates are what mainly determines the level of hardness of the concrete meaning that they should be handled properly.
Aggregate property varies in accordance with the type of aggregate material chosen there are however some important factors that should be taken into deep consideration. These are the characteristics that a decorative concrete company should look at. One of these characteristics is grading. This is the process of determining the distribution of the particle sizes. It is necessary to regulate the particle sizes since they influence different aspects of the concrete. The particle sizes influence the amount of aggregate used as well as the amount of cement and water to use. They also influence the level of workability of the aggregates.
The other main characteristic considered when choosing the particles are the shape and texture of the particles. The surface texture of the particles mainly influences the amount of water use during mixing. Rough particles usually consume larger quantities of water as compared to smooth textured particles. Keep in mind that as the water ratio is increased so does the cement amount so as to ensure an even cement-water ratio. This is mainly why it is advisable to opt for smoother particles so as to reduce the production costs. The shape also influences the level of wear of the concrete.
Some of the pother particle characteristics considered includes durability, weight and level of water absorption. To summarize on this the type of particle chosen for the aggregate is what mainly determines the final outcome of the concrete. This is why it is necessary to perform a deep research on the aggregate particles available before opting for a specific type of aggregate material. Once the right selection is made the other main important process to take note of is the concrete development. The ratio of water to cement is the main important aspect to control and be keen about.