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Aggregate is a collective term for the mineral
materials such as sand, gravel and crushed.
Aggregates can either be natural or
manufactured. Natural aggregates are
generally extracted from larger rock formations
through an open excavation (quarry). Extracted
rock is typically reduced to usable sizes by
mechanical crushing. Manufactured aggregate
is often the by product of other manufacturing

Aggregate Sources
Igneous rock
These rocks are primarily crystalline and are
formed by the cooling of molten rock material
beneath the earths crust.
Sedimentary rocks

These rocks are formed from deposited
insoluble material. This material is transformed
to rock by heat and pressure. Sedimentary
rocks are layered in appearance and are further
classified based on their predominant mineral
as calcareous (limestone, chalk, etc.), siliceous
(chert, sandstone, etc.) or argillaceous (shale,

These are igneous or sedimentary rocks that
have been subjected to heat and/or pressure
great enough to change their mineral structure
so as to be different from the original rock.
Manufactured rock typically consists of
industrial by products such as slag or specialty
rock that is produced to have a particular
physical characteristic not found in natural rock
(such as the low density of lightweight

An aggregates mineral composition largely
determines its physical characteristics and how
it behaves as a material. Therefore, when
selecting an aggregate source, knowledge of
the quarry rocks mineral properties can
provide an excellent clue as to the suitability of
the resulting aggregate.


Relationships between mineral and physical
properties are quite complex, making it difficult
to accurately predict how a particular aggregate
source will behave based on mineral properties

While relatively unimportant for loose
aggregate, aggregate chemical properties are
importantb in a construction material.
Aggregate surface chemistry can determine
how well a binder will adhere to an aggregate
surface. Poor adherence, commonly referred to
as stripping, can cause premature structural
failure. In PCC, aggregates containing reactive
forms can react expansively with the alkalis
contained in the cement paste.

This expansion can cause cracking, surface
popouts and spalling. Note that some
aggregate chemical properties can change over
time, especially after the aggregate is crushed.
A newly crushed aggregate may display a
different affinity for water than the same
aggregate that has been crushed and left in a
stockpile for a year.

Aggregate physical properties are the most
readily apparent aggregate properties and they
also have the most direct effect on how an
aggregate performs as either a pavement
material constituent or by itself as a base or
sub base material.

Commonly measured physical aggregate
properties are (Roberts et al., 1996):
Gradation and size
Toughness and Abrasion Resistance
Durability and soundness
Particle shape and surface texture
Specific gravity
Cleanliness and deleterious materials
Moisture Content

These are not the only physical properties of
aggregates but rather the most commonly
measured. Tests used to quantify these
properties are largely empirical. The physical
properties of an aggregate can change over
time. For instance, a newly crushed aggregate
may contain more dust and thus be less
receptive to binding with an asphalt binder.

Yuleba Minerals (www.yulebaminerals.com.au )
produces a range of natural aggregates that are
used widely throughout Roma, Chinchilla, Miles,
Surat and Southern Queensland.
For more information , please visit