Supplying Ballast Across Hampshire & Dorset
What is ballast aggregate?
The general rule of thumb when making concrete is to use 4 parts aggregate, 2 parts sharp sand and 1 part cement and water. The bit that is aggregate and sharp sand is collectively known as ‘ballast’ and is typically sold in ready-mixed bags.
Ballast is composed of sand as well as sizeable pieces of rock such as limestone or coarse gravel mixed together. In general, the sizing of the grains varies from 0.1mm to 20mm and is produced using a mixture of sharp sand and 4-20mm pea shingle.
Water and any additional additives are also used to create the final cement mixture ready for pouring. Depending on the amount and consistency of the ballast added, ultimately effects the strength of concrete produced.
Ballast, when added to cement, binds the aggregate particles together making it strong and sturdy for making the foundations or base layers for garden walls or sheds as well as for creating path edgings and kerb ledges. It can also be used to safely secure fencing posts in place.
Which aggregate is best for concrete?
Both gravel and crushed stone are generally acceptable for making a good quality concrete although changes in gradation, maximum size, unit weight and moisture content can all alter the character and performance of your concrete mix.
How to make good quality concrete
A good quality, fit for purpose concrete should be strong, dense and workable, so ideally the amount of cement used in concrete should be low and that of ballast aggregate should be high.