There are many different types of building aggregates, each with their own specific uses. Each material can have very many different names, depending on the part of the United Kingdom you come from.
There are two classes of aggregate, a fine aggregate or a coarse aggregate and what determines their class is the size of their grains or particles. Fine aggregates are made up of materials that have particles that are no bigger than 6mm, whereas coarse aggregates are made up of particles ranging from 8mm all the way up to 40mm plus.
Below is a list of each major aggregate that is used in the building and groundworks trades, their classes and what they are or can be used for.
Type 1 803 – also known as sub base, is classed as a coarse aggregate. This aggregate is mainly used for the construction of roads, pathways and under patios etc. to form hard surfaces to build from.
All in 20mm-dust – also known as sub base or concreting stone, is classed as a course aggregate. This is mainly used as a material that is mixed with cement and water to make concrete. It can also be used as a sub base aggregate.
Pipe bedding – also known as pea gravel, is classed as a coarse aggregate. This aggregate is mainly used by filling in around underground pipes to ensure there is an even weight distribution of the ground around it to prevent the pipe breaking and leaking. It is also a handy aggregate to use to help add drainage to waterlogged areas.
Fine sand – also known as builder’s sand or soft sand, is classed as a fine aggregate. This sand is prominently used for the construction of block and brickwork buildings. It can also be found inside the sand bags which are used to prevent buildings in the events of flooding.
Coarse sand – also known as rough sand or sharp sand, is classed as a fine aggregate. This sand is used for the laying of paving and patios. It binds to the paving better than what fine sand does and creates a stronger construction. Coarse sand can also be used for adding to soil to create better drainage.
Grit – also known as horticultural grit or paving grit, is classed as a fine aggregate. This type of grit is used in the construction of block paved areas and as a horticultural grit to aid drainage to top soils and compost. It can also be used as a decorative aggregate for driveways, pathways and flower beds.
Without each of these materials, the construction trades would be hard pushed to complete their jobs to a high standard. This list only touches the surface of what each of these materials can be used for.
Other common materials in the construction trade are decorative aggregates. These are used as finishing aggregates which need to be pleasing to the eye. It is a good job they can come in many shapes, colours and sizes to meet each user’s expectations and needs.