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Rashad Cartwright


18th September 2015

In Civil Engineering concrete development and construction are increasing at a rapid rate. But
there is one main ingredient that is used that gives concrete its strength and quality life span, we
call these aggregates. Aggregates are generally construction materials or coarse material typically
sand, gravel, slag, crushed stone and recycled concrete.
Aggregates are known to be the most mined material in the world and is mostly used in
engineering. This material is a key component of the mixture compounds that form concrete and
asphalt concrete. These aggregates help create bitumen material that is used in the development
of hot mixed roadways. They also aid in the development of rigid pavement roadways, which we
see mostly throughout Houston. Aggregates also assist as key component for reinforcement and
adds overall strength and life to composite material. Aggregates have a very high hydraulic
conductivity in comparison to other soils and aggregates have more uses such in the design of
drainage systems. These would include drain you see on local streets, sewer drain lines and
retaining wall drains.
Aggregates especially helpful in coastal design which is a branch of civil engineering. Coastal
engineering typically design seawalls, concrete porting docks and leisure swimming pools. In
order for these structures to withstand water and have a slow deteriorate ng lifespan high quality
aggregates or a special grade of aggregates need to be used. For example in the lining of a
concrete dock a special type of concrete foundation would be selected. Different aggregates help
makeup different types of foundations based on the concentrated amount of the material in a
mixture, ranging from a high to a low amount. Three basic types of concrete foundation is the Tshape, Slab-on-grade foundation and the frost protected foundation. In this case the slab-ongrade foundation would be most suitable because most concrete docks are built in tropical areas
and this foundation works well where the ground does not freeze.
Aggregates are essential in the design of any structure involving the development of concrete. It
will determine many key parameters of your project but mainly if your structure will pass or fail

in regards to strength. Thus Civil Engineers in the structural field should know the basics of
aggregates and how they behave with various mixtures.