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Different types of construction aggregates pictured side by side: Sand, crushed stone, gravel, and crushed concrete.
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Construction Aggregates: Types and Uses

 by Jack McLellan,

All About The Different Types of Construction Aggregates

Construction aggregates are all around us, no matter where we are. Ever since the development and optimization of construction aggregates in the Roman Empire, they’ve been a staple for creating roads, buildings, sidewalks, and more. Whether you commute to work, go hiking, or even have a garden, you’re surrounded by aggregates in your daily life. One of America’s most common construction building blocks, concrete, is primarily comprised of aggregates such as gravel and sand. These aggregates are used in structures like bridges, foundations, roads, flooring, and more.

What are the Main Types of Construction Aggregates?

Construction aggregates are coarse, fine rocks used as building materials in construction. When combined with other materials, such as water, concrete mixture, and more, they add strength and durability to these materials. Although aggregates are a broad term, several are used more often than others. Here are four of the more common types of construction aggregates.


In 2023, we used 120,000,000 metric tons of gravel in the United States alone. Gravel is created when stones are eroded over long periods in water or through sedimentation. These processes break them into smaller pieces naturally over time. Gravel formed through erosion is much smoother than aggregates formed through crushing or sedimentation.

Crushed Stone

Rocks like limestone and sandstone are mined in quarries. These stones are then transported for processing and fed through crushing equipment, which breaks them into smaller bits. Crushed rocks are more jagged than gravel, making them more durable. Crushed stone is great for making foundations and roads due to its superior durability.

Recycled Aggregates

Recycling goes beyond paper and plastics. Even rocks and concrete can be recycled and reused multiple times. After buildings are torn down, certain materials, such as wood and concrete, are loaded and shipped to recycling centers for reuse. Concrete is sent through a crusher to be broken down into smaller pieces, which are then reused in new concrete mixtures.


Though typically associated with beaches, sand has a lot of industrial uses. Sand is a small, naturally occurring form of quartz. There are also manufactured sands, known as artificial sands, created when stone or concrete is crushed into extremely fine bits.

Sand is broken down into two different types: fine and coarse. Fine sand is used as a filler and bulking material in construction due to its small size and ability to be packed tightly. This allows it to fill in the empty spaces other construction aggregates like gravel can’t. Coarse sand is used as a primary component in concrete mixtures.

Process Aggregates with General Kinematics

If you’re looking to sort and process construction aggregates, General Kinematics offers a variety of durable and efficient aggregate equipment. We’re happy to help you bring your aggregate handling projects to life. Contact us today, and we’ll help you streamline your aggregate processing.

Jack McLellan

Marketing Coordinator

Jack specializes in creating compelling digital marketing content such as social media, blog posts, newsletters, and more. He works with General Kinematics industry experts to develop educational content for the foundry, recycling, mining, and aggregate industries.