9 Best Uses for Crushed Stone

Crushed stone is exactly what it sounds like, rocks that have been crushed or broken down by crushing machines. Its main uses are as an aggregate for construction and landscaping purposes. Crushed stone and gravel are different in that natural processes produce gravel and its surface is rounded as opposed to the more angular surfaces of crushed stone.

Importance of Crushed Stone

Crushed stone, although in its raw state is relatively cheap, is a valuable resource and a major revenue producing industry worldwide. Because of the high cost of transportation, which can be more than the material itself, it is often produced locally. This, combined with the fact that it is widely used in construction, which is an indicator of growth, makes the amount of crushed stone sold an important factor in economic health of a nation or state.

Materials of Crushed Stone

There are numerous base material rocks used in its production, including limestone, dolomite, sand, gravel, iron, steel, expanded clay or shale, and perlite. Often it is the slag produced by these materials that is used to create the stone.

Types and Uses of Crushed Stone

Since crushed stone is produced rather than formed naturally, it can be made in different sizes, anything from a fraction of an inch to numerous inches in size. Billions of metric tons of crushed stone are used yearly and uses are various. Nine of the main uses are listed below.

Top 9 Uses

  1. Used in paving blocks and concrete for sidewalks, driveways, patios, homes, office buildings and paved roads as a base or sub-base material or in the process of cement manufacture. 
  2. Mixed with a binder to make asphalt and tarmac, used for things such as driveway fillers and extenders. In the technique for road construction called Macadam, the strength of the road depends upon the interlocking of the stones due to their angular shapes.
  3. Used as a flux in blast furnaces to create liquid slag which, when cooled, becomes a stone material that is crushed and used as a construction aggregate.
  4. Sometimes used with a binding material in walls for shorelines and railroad construction. In shoreline protection, the crushed stone is called rip rap or shot rock and is used in all manner of shoreline structures to protect against erosion from water or ice, which is called scour. It is also used in other erosion control efforts.
  5. Placed on the ground in landscapes around trees, drains and as tracking pads on construction sites. Tracking pads are temporary roadways used to prevent sediment from construction getting on public paved roads or landscaping.
  6. Used for septic systems, self-contained sewage treatment systems.
  7. Used to treat other toxic substances like sulfur oxide or coal dust in mines and acid water. 
  8. Used in the manufacture of agricultural lime, which is used in the treatment of soil to reduce acidity.
  9. Used for as grit and mineral food for feeding poultry. This mineral food is required for proper digestion in all types of poultry.