Charleston, West Virginia
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Common Crushed Stone Terms
Crushed stone is an important material for construction and home improvement projects. It is available in a variety of colors and machined crushed into different sizes for any purpose. Below are seven terms to be familiar with when shopping for crushed stone.
Aggregate - Materials like crushed stone, gravel, slag, or sand used in construction. Aggregate materials are commonly used to strengthen composites, to encourage drainage, or as decorative landscaping mulch.
Asphalt - A black liquid substance that is mixed with an aggregate and acts like a glue, binding together loose materials. Asphalt is used to make roads.
Gravel - Small pieces of rock, commonly used to construct roads or paths. Gravel is also used for residential landscaping projects. It often forms naturally as rocks erode due to weathering.
Limestone - A type of rock made of calcium and carbon. It is usually white to gray in color. Limestone is used for a variety of purposes, including in gardens, household products, food, and the construction of buildings.
Dolomite - A hard mineral that is white, gray, or pink in color. Often, dolomite is machine-ground into small or medium sized stones and used in residential gardens to prevent weed growth, keep soil moist, and improve aesthetics.
Slag - A by-product of purifying metals. Slag is crushed and used in concrete or to fertilize gardens.
Shale - A type of rock made of compressed clay, sand, and minerals. Shale can be black, red, or brown but is usually gray. Shale is used in the making of bricks and cement.
Crushed stone is needed in many applications, from construction to landscaping to agriculture. Crushed stone is a material that comes from solid stone, often mined in quarries for shipment to area companies. Quarries are open pit mines from which rock is extracted, such as stone, limestone, and clay. Crushed stone can be used for construction aggregate, asphalt, gravel, and track ballast.
Stone is crushed through several methods, such as blasting, excavating, and drilling through rocks. It typically consists of limestone, dolomite, or granite. Shale is a related material, but it's too soft to make crushed stone due to its clay-like structure. It's typically used in lightweight aggregate, though.
Companies that sell crushed stone, which is an angular form of construction aggregate, may also sell water-worn gravel, slag, soil-enhancing products, natural aggregates, and sand. They may also sell crushed limestone, ready mix concrete, topsoil, rock salt, and other supply items for use by masons and contractors. Crushed stone is commonly used for fill and ground cover, whether consisting of coarse or fine crushed rock. When landscaping companies, builders, and masons need these products, they turn to rock quarries, manufacturers, and wholesalers.
There are many types of crushed stone out there. You can get stone dust or sand, which is exactly what it sounds like, or you can get bigger pieces, such as 1 1/2–inch rock. One company may pride itself on offering recycled materials, while another may sell all-natural aggregates. Many quarries in this business also offer fabricating and finishing stones. Consumers can find what they need by following business referrals or checking out online sites for price quotes.