RCA (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
Type 1 (MOT)
Type 1 (MOT) sizes range from 40mm down to dust to create an easily compacted aggregate. MOT Type 1 also known as DOT Type 1 named after the Department of Transport (DOT) specification for granular sub-base material is the most widely used approved sub-base in the construction industry. In order for a product to be classed as 'Type 1' quality it must comply with the Department of Transport Specification for Highway Works, clause 803 (SHW 803). MOT Type 1 can be made from Granite, Limestone or clean Crushed Concrete. The product is crushed to 40mm down to dust creating an aggregate containing a range of particle sizes that is easy to compact with excellent load bearing qualities. This product is not to be confused with scalpings which have a higher fines content and subsequently less load bearing capability. MOT Type 1 is a must for any highly trafficked area and is most commonly used as a sub-base for highways, car parks, footpaths, driveways, hard standings and building bases.
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