Curiosities Surrounding Concrete Aggregate For Commercial Applications

As a commercial business owner, if you need concrete installed, you will likely be working with a commercial concrete supplier for your needs. These commercial suppliers are capable of delivering a large volume of ready-mix concrete to a location to install everything from industrial facility foundations to parking lots and loading docks.

When you initially start working with a company to get the plans in place for the concrete that needs to be delivered, the topic of aggregate will likely come up. Commercial concrete mixes can contain different types of aggregate, but the ingredients used may not be all that familiar to an average business owner. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions regarding concrete aggregate used for commercial applications. 

Why is aggregate required in commercial concrete?

Aggregate is required in all types of concrete. The coarse materials give the cured material a greater load index and more resiliency for the long term. However, the addition of aggregate to a concrete mix also means the mix does not need as much straight cement. Cement is a synthetically manufactured binding agent that makes concrete harden to its recognizable state. In commercial applications, aggregate is even more important because the end concrete may need to be more resilient to impact, weight, and heavy traffic than what would be expected on a residential property. Aggregate is usually either crushed rock or natural stone. 

Are there more sustainable aggregate options available?

There are sustainable options when it comes to concrete aggregate if you prefer to stay away from natural rock or crushed rock, as both are natural resources. There are several types of aggregate used in modern concrete mixes that are either byproducts from certain manufacturing processes or come from recycled or reused materials. A few examples include: 

  • Silica fume 
  • Steel slag 
  • Recycled concrete 
  • Waste brick aggregate 
  • E-waste aggregate 
  • Ceramic waste aggregate 

What kind of aggregate is concrete chert?

Chert is actually a mix of different types of sedimentary rock. While some commercial concrete suppliers do offer chert, the material tends to be reserved for areas where there will not be great index loads. Chert contains rocks like onyx, flint, and other crystalline-type rocks. While these aggregates can give the concrete a nice appearance, they are also more vulnerable to cracking or breaking down under pressure. Therefore, chert may only be recommended for things like walkways, seating areas, or less-industrial locations on commercial property.  

For more info about commercial concrete solutions, contact a local company.