Aggregates are composed of geological materials such as stone, sand, and gravel and are used in virtually all forms of construction. They can be used in their natural state or can be crushed into smaller pieces.
The aggregates used for building are called “construction aggregates”. Aggregates are also used in agriculture, manufacturing, and other industries.
An indispensable ingredient
Aggregates are an indispensable ingredient in ready-mix concrete, asphalt, and mortar. Accounting for approximately 60% to 75% of ready-mix concrete’s volume, aggregates strongly influence concrete’s freshly mixed and hardened properties.
Aggregates not only increase concrete’s strength, but also can make the mix more compact, enabling applications such as weatherproofing and heat retention.
They can further contribute to concrete’s aesthetic qualities. For example, sand gives surface treatments their brightness.
A variety of applications
Our customers use our aggregates for a wide array of applications:
- As a key component in the construction and maintenance of highways, walkways, parking lots, airport runways, and railways
- For drainage, water filtration, purification, and erosion control
- As fill material
- For sand traps on golf courses, beaches, playing field surfaces, horse racing tracks, and related applications
- To build bridges, homes, and schools
Aggregates are obtained from natural sand or sand-and-gravel pits, hard-rock quarries, dredging submerged deposits, or mining underground sediments. For more information about how aggregates are extracted, view our animated process »