If you’re unsure what recycled concrete aggregate is or want to know more about how your business could use it in construction, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog, by our expert team at ETM Recycling, will tell you all you need to know. Here we discuss what recycled concrete aggregate is, how it’s produced as well as the advantages/disadvantages of using it. From our advanced facilities just outside Bristol, we offer a full range of local authority approved recycled aggregates suitable for construction and contracting companies in the local area.
What is Recycled Concrete Aggregate?
Recycled concrete aggregate is the term used to describe the material produced from crushed construction and demolition waste, primarily consisting of concrete but also including aggregate materials such as sand, gravel, slag, and crushed stones. Recycled aggregates are only classified as recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) when the primary material is concrete.
By crushing and compressing existing waste concrete and combining it with aggregate, producers can create concrete aggregate to a specific size and quality, which makes it very cost effective to purchase. It also involves recycling waste materials, which would usually have taken up valuable space in landfill sites.
How is Recycled Concrete Aggregate Produced?
The first step in producing recycled concrete aggregate is to collect demolished concrete from places such as roads, bridges, and demolished buildings. This concrete is then refined, which means checking that it doesn’t contain any other materials such as wood or metal chunks that could affect the final product’s strength.
Next, the concrete is put through crushing machines which use impact force to break down large chunks and stones. Finally, the crushed concrete is mixed with an aggregate such as sand, to help it reach the required consistency and density.
Advantages of Recycled Concrete Aggregate
There are several advantages of using recycled concrete aggregate, these include:
- It’s a cheaper alternative to quarried stone
- It’s a very durable material and particularly suitable for wet or soft ground
- It uses less energy in production than traditional concrete
- It does not require mining and so preserves natural environments
- It offers potential tax rebates for companies investing in fuel-efficient technology
- It is more penetrable (average water absorption value of 7.5%) than standard concrete (average water absorption rate of 3.7%), resulting in increased protection from seepage
Disadvantages of Recycled Concrete Aggregate
The disadvantages of using recycled concrete aggregate are fewer and fewer as technology evolves and manufacturers understand it better. But some to be aware of include:
- If the amount of aggregate mixed into concrete is too much, it can significantly impact the strength of the material
- The aggregate and concrete used must be refined or else there could be serious challenges such as cracks and uneven surfaces
- Inspection of the material is necessary to guarantee quality.
At ETM Recycling we are experts in producing recycled aggregates and always ensure products are tested to the highest specification to offset any risks.
Uses of Recycled Concrete Aggregate
There are several different types of recycled aggregates which can be produced, with recycled concrete aggregate being just one of them. Each aggregate has different uses, but recycled concrete aggregate is most commonly used in compaction and is suitable for the first layer of building as it is perfect for wet or soft ground.
Other recycled aggregates which can be produced are:
- Pipe Bedding (commonly used for bedding and surrounding of pipes)
- Dust (commonly used to backfill trenches)
- Sand (commonly used for landscaping)
- Topsoil (used for a wide range of construction projects)
At ETM Recycling we offer a range of recycled aggregates, produced to ensure consistent and high quality for our customers. We offer the recycled aggregates in the list above, as well as 6F2 (a durable aggregate formed of crushed concrete or brick hardcore) and Green Type 1 Recycled (clean quarry stone mixed with quality aggregates). Get in touch to arrange the collection or delivery of recycled aggregates for you Bristol and Bath based building business.
Recycled Concrete Aggregate Price
Recycled concrete aggregate is widely considered to be a cheaper and more cost-effective material than stone or regular concrete. This is because it does not have to be mined and can be produced relatively easily.
Often, companies are also offered tax rebates or rewards for using renewable materials, which can further increase the overall cost saving.
If you would like to request a quote from ETM Recycling for recycled aggregates for your specific project, please get in touch with us today. We’ll provide you with a competitive quote based on your specific needs.
Buy Recycled Aggregates with ETM Recycling
We are a fully accredited waste management and recycling company in Bristol using state of the art machinery to produce materials consistent to a high specification. We have extensive experience in producing recycled aggregates to the highest quality to meet the needs of our customers, available for collection or delivery to the local area.
Regardless of the size of your company or how big or small your order is, we can help. Contact our team today to discuss your requirements.