How It Is Used
When you look at what we build almost everything has a need for aggregates at some point during site preparation, construction or completion. Aggregates are essential to our daily life from the obvious building applications to the not so obvious water filtration systems. In their unprocessed form they provide the lakes and river beds that diverse species of fish and wildlife rely on to survive. They are the mountains we ski on, the hills we climb, the meadows and fields we grow things in and the foundation that all we build is anchored to.
Most of our aggregate in British Columbia has its origins in the last Ice Age. As the glaciers moved across the continent they broke apart rock formations and rendered large chunks into smaller pieces of various sizes. When the glaciers receded, they left this rock material in their wake, giving us the seams of aggregate we use today.
Aggregate material is available to us almost everywhere we look. It is sorted into sizes, coarse or smooth finish, crushed and mixed with other quarry material to form products for specific applications and is essential to any building or landscaping project we undertake. Rock is the stable base underneath every building, road, bridge and any other man made structure we see today. Where aggregate has really stepped into the limelight is in concrete.
Concrete has rapidly become the building material of choice in the modern age due to the flexibility (when it’s poured) and durability of the product. It can be reinforced, moulded to create curves, and dressed up to be aesthetically pleasing, yet maintain strength and stability. Aggregates are critical in providing not only the substance and strength for the concrete mix but also in providing the solid foundations for the concrete to anchor to.