- Exposed Aggregate Home
- What is Exposed Aggregate and Where is it Used?
- Advantages of Exposed Aggregate Finishes
- How to Expose the Aggregate
- Choosing the Right Decorative Aggregate
- Choosing Decorative Aggregate
- Adding the Aggregate to the Concrete
- Design Ideas for Exposed Aggregate Finishes
- Achieving Special Effects
- Exposed Aggregate Pool Decks
- Exposed Aggregate Driveways
- Combining Decorative Elements with Exposed Aggregate
- Ideas for Enhancing Exposed Aggregate Concrete
- Protecting and Maintaining Exposed Aggregate
- Exposed Aggregate Sealers
- Exposed Aggregate Maintenance
- Related Information:
- Aggregates in Ready-Mix Concrete
- Review our Comprehensive Sections on Concrete, Patios, Pool Decks and Driveways
- New Concrete Aggregate Glows in the Dark
The Role of Aggregate in ConcreteLearn how this workhorse of concrete mix design can change the character and performance of a concrete mix
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Aggregates are generally thought of as inert filler within a concrete mix. But a closer look reveals the major role and influence aggregate plays in the properties of both fresh and hardened concrete. Changes in gradation, maximum size, unit weight, and moisture content can all alter the character and performance of your concrete mix.
Economy is another reason for thoughtful aggregate selection. You can often save money by selecting the maximum allowable aggregate size. Using larger coarse aggregate typically lowers the cost of a concrete mix by reducing cement requirements, the most costly ingredient. Less cement (within reasonable limits for durability) will mean less water if the water-cement (w/c) ratio is kept constant. A lower water content will reduce the potential for shrinkage and for cracking associated with restrained volume change.
Here's an overview of the most important factors to consider when selecting and proportioning concrete aggregate.