Difference between Fine Aggregate & Coarse Aggregate


Difference Between Fine and Coarse Aggregate

Aggregates are end product on their own and also used as the raw material in concrete mixtures. Sand, gravel or crushed stone are the essential ingredients in the concrete mix and account approximately 60% to 75% of the total volume of the concrete.

In simpler words, the composite material that is used for binding the concrete is known as aggregate. It is categorized into two distinct categories fine and coarse aggregates. Both are used to form concrete; both can be seen in the foundation of a road or even on the roof of a building. But, there are some fundamental differences between fine aggregates and coarse aggregates lets discuss them further.

Fine aggregate Vs Coarse Aggregate

Both are filler materials used in concrete mixtures but the material formed by a mixture of smaller particles of grains and minerals is called as fine aggregate, and the material including gravels, cobble, and boulders is known as the coarse aggregate.

Coarse aggregates are particles greater than the size 4.75mm; however, you can find the range between 9.5mm to 37.5mm in diameter for larger size aggregates. On the other hand, fine aggregates are so small in size that they can pass through 9 mm sieve.

Difference between Fine and Coarse Aggregate: According to size

According to the IS specifications, the fine aggregates can be classified into coarse sand, medium sand, and fine sand. On the other hand, we can have different categories of coarse aggregates namely primary, secondary and recycled.

  • Fine aggregates consist of natural sand and stone are graded into Zone 1 to Zone 4 on its capability to pass through the 600-micron The zones get progressively finer from Zone-1 to Zone-4. As per zones, 90% to 100% of the fine aggregate passes 4.75 mm IS sieve and 0 to 15% passes 150 microns IS sieve.
  • The nominal size of coarse aggregate is 40 mm, 20 mm, 16 mm and 12.5 mm.

Difference between Fine and Coarse Aggregate: According to source 

The basic difference between fine and coarse aggregates not only includes the size specifications, but you can classify these two based on their sources.

  • According to the source, the coarse aggregate can be described into three categories:
    • Uncrushed Gravel or Stone which is formed from natural disintegration of rocks.
    • Crushed Gravel or Stone that is obtained by crushing of gravel or hard stone.
    • Partially Crushed Gravel or Stone, which is formed by the blending of the above two aggregate.
  • According to the source, we can have three different categories of fine aggregates, such as:
    • Natural Sand, it results from the disintegration of rock. The process of disintegration and deposition by streams or glacial agencies is completely normal.
    • Crushed Stone Sand, it is formed when hard stones get crushed.
    • Crushed Gravel Sand, as the name implies it forms when crushing of natural gravel happens.

Fine aggregates are used for making thin-walled and conventional reinforced concrete structural components. Due to its fine grained structure, it is widely used in highway and airfield construction. The use of fine aggregate increases the required quantity of binder, which can be reduced by using coarse aggregates. Thus, a precise proportion of both fine and coarse aggregate is needed to attain strength and durability from any concrete structure.


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