Not all concrete is created equal. Some homeowners and contractors purchase ready-mix concrete, but those who have unique project specifications may need to purchase Concrete Products in Austin Texas and mix their concrete from scratch. Read on to find out about the role of aggregate in fresh and hardened concrete for help with choosing the right products.
Concrete is typically composed of cement, aggregate, water, and air. Aggregates typically comprise between 60 and 80 percent of a concrete mix, but the exact ratio of aggregate to cement can be altered depending on the application. While aggregate proportions are usually fairly consistent, aggregate gradation varies depending on the concrete’s application.
The term gradation refers to the proportion of coarse aggregate to fine aggregate. Coarse aggregate is more than 3/8 of an inch in diameter, while fine aggregate is less than 3/8 of an inch in diameter.
Concrete gradation is measured on an index known as the fineness modulus (FM). The FM should fall between 2.3 and 3.1 and should never change within the batch by more than 0.2 FM. Finer aggregates will produce a sticky mix, while coarser ones will produce harsh mixes that are more difficult to finish.
Applications for Fine and Coarse Aggregate Concrete
Concrete mixes with higher FMs produce a more finished surface. They’re often used for road surfacing, paving paths, and creating decorative features.
Coarse aggregate concrete mixes are more durable, stronger, and less expensive. However, coarse aggregate concrete doesn’t provide the same kind of finished appearance. It’s more commonly found in structural components.
Other Concrete Products
Coarse and fine aggregates aren’t the only essential Concrete Products in Austin Texas contractors or property owners will need to buy to complete their projects. Depending on the type and scope of the project, they may also need to purchase cement stabilized sand, cement-treated base, fill, or topsoil. Sometimes, recycled asphalt, concrete, limestone, or soil can replace new products, reducing the cost of the project.
The Bottom Line
Mixing concrete is a great way to save money on large-scale projects. Just make sure to purchase high-quality aggregates and other concrete products to ensure that the finished concrete looks good and holds up to the test of time. Visit Aaron Concrete Contractors online to learn more about concrete products today.