All About Aggregates | How do Shape and Size Matter in Aggregate | Fine Aggregate Vs Coarse Aggregate

All About Aggregates


Aggregates are inert granular, substances like either sand gravel or crushed stone which are an important component in concrete, alongside water and portland cement.

Aggregates must be pure, hard, solid particles free from ingested chemicals or adhesives of clay as well as other fine materials for a good concrete mix that could trigger the concrete to deteriorate.

Aggregates, which make up 60 to 75 percent of the overall concrete volume, are classified into two different categories: fine and coarse.

With most particles going through a 3/8-inch sieve, fine aggregates typically consist of natural sand or crushed stone.

All particles larger than 0.19 inches are coarse aggregates but usually vary between 3/8 and 1.5 inches in diameter. Gravels make up much of the remaining coarse aggregate used in concrete with crushed stone.

Natural gravel and sand from a pit, river, lake, or seabed are normally mined or dredged. By crushing quarry rock, boulders, cobbles, or large-sized gravel, crushed aggregate is made.

Recycled concrete has been used satisfactorily in granular sub-bases, soil-cement, and fresh concrete and is a viable source of aggregate.

To obtain proper cleanliness and gradation, aggregate is treated after harvesting: crushed, screened, and washed. If required, the output can be upgraded by a benefaction method such as jigging or heavy media separation.

Until processed, to minimize segregation and deterioration and avoid contamination, the aggregates are treated and stored.

Aggregates greatly impact the freshly mixed and hardened properties of concrete, the proportions of the mixture, and the economy.

The selection of aggregates is therefore an essential process. Although some variance is anticipated in aggregate properties, the characteristics considered include:

  • Grading
  • Durability
  • Form of particles and texture of surfaces
  • Abrasion and resistance to skids
  • Weights of a unit and voids
  • Absorption and moisture on the surface

Grading refers to the determination of the aggregate particle-size distribution. Grading limits and maximum aggregate size are defined since the amount of aggregate used as well as the specifications for cement and water, workability, pump ability, and toughness of concrete are influenced by these properties.

Generally speaking, if the water-cement ratio is selected correctly, a wide variety of grades can be used without having a noticeable impact on strength.

When the gap-graded aggregate is defined, those aggregate particle sizes are excluded from the spectrum of scale.

Gap-graded aggregate is used in exposed aggregate concrete to achieve uniform textures. In order to prevent segregation, close control of mixed proportions is required.

How do Shape and Size Matter in Aggregate?

How to do Shape and Size Matter in Aggregate

The characteristics of freshly mixed concrete are determined more by particle form as well as surface texture than by the characteristics of concrete.

Rough-textured, angular, and elongated particles consume more water than smooth, rounded, compact aggregates to create workable concrete.

Consequently, to preserve the water-cement ratio, the concrete mixture should also be raised. Flat and elongated particles are usually excluded or restricted by mass to approximately 15 percent of the overall aggregate.

Unit-weight tests in concrete the quantity of the graded aggregate and the voids between them will fill.

The quantity of cement paste needed for the mixture is influenced by the air voids among particles. The void material is augmented by angular aggregates.

The void content is minimized by greater sizes of well-graded aggregate and better grading.

While choosing the aggregate, absorption including surface moisture of the aggregate is determined since the internal structure of the aggregate consists of a solid material including voids that may or may not contain water.

The quantity of water in the concrete mixture should be modified to also include the aggregate’s moisture requirements.

If the aggregate is to be used in concrete constantly subject to abrasions, such as in heavy-duty floors or pavements, abrasion and skid resistance of aggregate is important.

Various minerals at various concentrations in the aggregate wear and polish. In highly abrasive conditions, to reduce wear, harder aggregates can be chosen.

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Fine Aggregate Vs Coarse Aggregate

Fine Aggregate Vs Coarse Aggregate

In accordance with materials that are used to combine with concrete in building activities, the terms fine and coarse aggregate are used.

Aggregate is a composite substance that helps to tie the concrete together as it provides concrete strength and strengthening.

To shape concrete, aggregate is mixed with cement that is used to lay the base of a road or even a roof in a building.

Many ingredients, such as sand, gravel, stone, crushed rock and sometimes even waste slug from the iron and steel industry, are used to form aggregates.

In general, aggregate is graded as fine and coarse. In this article, the distinctions between these two aggregate forms will be discussed.

Ingredients play a very significant role in the quality of concrete. Crushed stone that is coarse occurs to be low cost in low to moderate-strength concrete as it helps to make up the volume required to fill the base.

However, if high-performance concrete is needed where the concrete strength is similar to the aggregate strength, fine aggregate is required so that the framework does not have a weakness.

Mixing both fine and coarse aggregate in concrete is necessary because coarse aggregate is unable to cover the surface area in the way that fine aggregate does.

It is important to note that the contribution of the coarse aggregate is much smaller than the fine aggregate to cover the surface area.

As far as form is considered, to achieve maximum packing density followed by cubical and flaky forms, spherical aggregate is considered the highest.

Oversized aggregate creates trouble on the field in a simple way when setting the concrete. If it is for coarse or fine aggregate, it must be noted that the particle size does not change greatly as it hampers good-performing concrete.

If a coarse or fine aggregate is used, particle size should be as uniform as possible in order to provide concrete that works satisfactorily manner.

It is clear that the concrete placer requires aggregate to be such that concrete with little to no effort can be put and compacted. The best way to attain this goal is to go for particles with spherical aggregates.

These are filler materials used in concrete mixtures, but the substance produced by a combination of smaller grain and mineral particles is referred to as a fine aggregate, and the coarse aggregate is regarded as the material containing gravel, cobble, and boulders.

Coarse aggregates are particles less than 4.75 mm in size; for larger aggregates, however, the range can be found from 9.5 mm and 37.5 mm in diameter.

Fine aggregates, on the other hand, are so small in scale that they can pass through a 9-mm sieve.

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Difference Between Fine and Coarse Aggregate: According to Size

Difference Between Fine and Coarse Aggregate According to Size

The fine aggregates could be categorized into coarse sand, medium sand, and fine sand under the IS requirements. But from the other hand, we will have various coarse aggregate groups, including principal, secondary, and recycled.

Fine aggregates consisting of natural sand and stone are classified into Zone 1 to Zone 4 on their ability to move through 600 microns.

From Zone-1 to Zone-4, the zones gradually become finer. 90 to 100 percent of the fine aggregate passes 4.75 mm of IS sieve according to areas, and 0 to 15 percent passes 150 microns of IS sieve.

The coarse aggregate has a nominal scale of 40 mm, 20 mm, 16 mm as well as 12.5 mm.

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Difference Between Fine and Coarse Aggregate: According to Source

Difference Between Fine and Coarse Aggregate According to Source-

Not only are the size parameters included in the basic distinction between fine and coarse aggregates, but you can distinguish these two based on their origins.

The coarse aggregate can be defined into three categories according to the source:

  • Uncrushed Gravel or Stone produced by natural rock disintegration.
  • Crushed gravel or stone is obtained by grinding hard stone or gravel.
  • Partially Crushed Gravel or Stone, which is created by combining the two aggregates above

We can have three distinct types of fine aggregates according to the source, such as:

  • Natural Sand is the product of rock disintegration. The process by streams or glacial agencies of disintegration and deposition is entirely natural.
  • It is formed when hard stones are crushed. It is formed when hard stones are crushed.
  • Crushed Gravel Sand, as the name suggests when crushing of natural gravel occurs, shapes it.

For making thin-walled and traditional reinforced concrete structural elements, fine aggregates are used. It is commonly used in highway and airfield construction due to its fine-grained structure.

The use of fine aggregate increases the amount of binder needed, which can be decreased by coarse aggregate use. Therefore, to obtain strength and durability from any concrete construction, an accurate proportion of both fine and coarse aggregate is required.



Aggregates are raw materials that are produced from natural sources and extracted from pits and quarries, including gravel, crushed stone, and sand. When used with a binding medium, like water, cement, and asphalt, they are used to form compound materials, such as asphalt concrete and Portland cement concrete.

Crusher Run

Crusher run is a blended mix of coarse aggregate and fine aggregate. The combination of both crushed stone and stone dust creates a low void content (the amount of space or air between the pieces of rock in a mix) that is valuable in concrete construction for its compaction ability and drainage characteristics.

Fine Aggregate

Fine aggregates are essentially any natural sand particles won from the land through the mining process. Fine aggregates consist of natural sand or any crushed stone particles that are ¼” or smaller. This product is often referred to as 1/4’” minus as it refers to the size, or grading, of this particular aggregate.

Aggregate Stone

What Are Aggregates? Aggregates (also commonly referred to as chips and pebbles or crushed stone in the industry) are a particular material made up of crushed stone, sand, or gravel. There are a variety of sizes available depending on the specific application.

What Is Aggregate Used For?

Aggregate materials help to make concrete mixes more compact. They also decrease the consumption of cement and water and contribute to the mechanical strength of the concrete, making them an indispensable ingredient in the construction and maintenance of rigid structures.

What Aggregate to Use for Concrete?

Gravels constitute the majority of coarse aggregate used in concrete with crushed stone making up most of the remainder. Natural gravel and sand are usually dug or dredged from a pit, river, lake, or seabed. Crushed aggregate is produced by crushing quarry rock, boulders, cobbles, or large-size gravel.

What Is Type 1 Aggregate Used for?

MOT Type 1 Subbase or just Type 1 Subbase is a granular crushed aggregate. It is used as a subbase in construction work. Aggregate material is crushed to 40mm down to dust. This mixture of sizes makes it great for compaction, making it extremely strong with great loading bearing qualities.

What Are Aggregates in Concrete?

Concrete aggregates are composed of geological materials such as gravel, sand and crushed rock. The size of the particles determines whether it is a coarse aggregate (e.g. gravel) or a fine aggregate (e.g. sand). The resulting concrete can be used in its natural state or crushed, according to its use and application.

What Is Coarse Aggregate?

Coarse aggregates are any particles greater than 0.19 inch, but generally range between 3/8 and 1.5 inches in diameter. Gravels constitute the majority of coarse aggregate used in concrete with crushed stone making up most of the remainder.

What Is Fine Aggregate?

Fine aggregates generally consist of natural sand or crushed stone with most particles passing through a 3/8-inch sieve. Coarse aggregates are any particles greater than 0.19 inch, but generally range between 3/8 and 1.5 inches in diameter.

What Is Exposed Aggregate Concrete?

“Exposed aggregate” refers to the process of uncovering the aggregate, or the large stones or other material, that is mixed in with the concrete. Exposing it makes the surface more textured, and it creates a different look than the typical, flat, gray slab of most concrete surfaces.

What Are the 4 Main Types of Aggregates?

The most common types of aggregate that are used in landscaping include: crushed stone, gravel, sand, and fill. Varying in material and stone size, each type can have its own purpose when it comes to landscaping projects.

What Is Bulk Density of Aggregate?

What is the density of aggregate in kg/m3? The approximate bulk density of aggregate is between 1200-1750 kg/m3.

What Are the Properties of Aggregates?

Basic properties of aggregates include mineralogical composition, surface texture and grain shape, dustiness, porosity, frost resistance, resistance to abrasion and polishing, and asphalt absorption capacity [1,2,3,4,5].

What Is Type 3 Stone?

AASHTO #3 stone is similar to AASHTO #1 but has a 3-inch topsize. It is also a bulky material but is somewhat easier to handle than the #1’s. It is used primarily in drainage situations. It is a clean material.

What Is the Density of Aggregate?

Most aggregates have a relative density between 2.4-2.9 with a corresponding particle (mass) density of 2400-2900 kg/m3 (150-181 lb/ft3).

What Is Aggregate Form?

Aggregate form, with respect to data, shall mean data or information submitted by three or more persons that have been summed or assembled in such a manner so as not to reveal, directly or indirectly, the identity or business of any such person.

What Is All in Aggregate?

All-in aggregate, similar to that of its name, is aggregate containing a proportion of material of all sizes from a pit, crushing plant or river bed. Also known as Ballast, this type of material is generally used to repair small cracks and pavement foundations.

Is Aggregate a Mineral?

Aggregate” is a collective term for the mineral materials such as sand, gravel and crushed stone that are used with a binding medium (such as water, bitumen, portland cement, lime, etc.) to form compound materials (such as asphalt concrete and portland cement concrete).

Does Aggregate Make Concrete Stronger?

Aggregates make up 60-80% of the volume of concrete and 70-85% of the mass of concrete. Aggregate is also very important for strength, thermal and elastic properties of concrete, dimensional stability and volume stability. Cement is more likely to be affected by shrinkage.

What Is the Maximum Size of Aggregate Used for Concrete?

Nominal Maximum Size: The smallest sieve opening through which the entire amount of aggregate is permitted to pass. coarse aggregate MUST pass the 1.5” sieve but 95 – 100% MAY pass the 1” sieve, therefore # 57 aggregate is considered to have a Maximum size of 1.5” and an Nominal Maximum size of 1”.

Is Aggregate More Expensive Than Concrete?

Comparing the two, aggregate is more affordable as it is usually at the lower end of the pricing range. Stamping is not expensive, but using aggregate concrete is more economical, especially if you have a larger project. Typically, stamped concrete starts at $120 while an exposed aggregate finish is around $100.

10mm Vs 20mm Aggregate in Concrete

Through Pundits test the quality of both concrete aggregate size 20mm and 10mm was produced at a good to doubtful and very poor level. The results showed the concrete aggregate size of 20mm has 45.7% higher compressive strength than the concrete aggregate size of 10mm.

Specific Gravity of Coarse Aggregate

The specific gravity of coarse aggregates normally ranges from about 2.5 to 3.0.

Fineness Modulus of Sand

The Fineness Modulus (FM) of fine aggregates (sand) is an empirical figure obtained by adding the total percentage of the sample of a sand retained on each of a specified series of sieves, and dividing the sum by 100.

What Size Crushed Stone for Pavers?

Stone aggregate comes in a variety of sizes, but most experts recommend 3/4-inch gravel for paver bases. Crushed stone makes a solid paver base because it allows water drainage and is easy to work with.

Fine Aggregate Size

Fine aggregates are usually sand or crushed stone that are less than 9.55mm in diameter. Typically the most common size of aggregate used in construction is 20mm. A larger size, 40mm, is more common in mass concrete. Larger aggregate diameters reduce the quantity of cement and water needed.

What Is the Difference Between Coarse and Fine Thread?

What is the difference between fine and coarse thread fasteners? A. A fastener with a fine thread equates to a fastener with a large number of threads per distance along the fastener. In contrast, a coarse thread fastener equates to a fastener with a low number of threads per distance along the fastener.

What Does M20 Mean?

Grade of concrete is denoted by prefixing M to the desired strength in MPa. For example, for a grade of concrete with 20 MPa strength, it will be denoted by M20, where M stands for Mix.

What Is the Difference Between Gravel and Crushed Stone?

Gravel is a material made up of naturally occurring loose stone chunks with rounded edges. You can find it occurring naturally, perhaps in a gravel pit or river. Crushed stone, on the other hand, is man-made. Large rocks (often limestone) are processed in a stone crusher to make smaller pieces.

Is Sand Coarse or Fine?

Sand is a granular material made up of fine rock particles. Sand is a naturally occurring, finely divided rock, comprising particles or granules ranging in size from 0.0625 (or 1⁄16) to 2 millimeters.

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