Mineral concrete information – everything about prices and processing

Mineral concrete information – everything about prices and processing

Mineral concrete is a popular building material, but it requires professional processing. For a professional approach, you must first of all select the correct grain size and carry out a price comparison. Processing then takes place. Read about the points to pay attention to in all three steps.

Usually, the building material is delivered. When buying, you can choose from many different providers so that you can make a targeted price comparison. The costs fluctuate a lot, but the delivery costs must also be taken into account. But first of all, you need to choose the right products. In our guide, we explain how to read grading graphs and what the significance of the minimum and maximum size of the grains. The processing takes place with a vibrating plate, which should only be operated with safety clothing.

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Properties of mineral concrete

Mineral concrete is a mixture of gravel, water and chippings / crushed gravel. No cement is used as a binding agent, which distinguishes this building material. Mineral concrete is a highly compacted mix that has a large proportion of broken grain. At the same time, the building material has great strength. It is mainly used in the production of road surfaces. In landscaping and gardening work, mineral concrete is often used for paving beds and patio beds. Void compaction generally takes place during processing. Vibrators are used as an aid. The compaction takes place up to the desired load-bearing capacity. The exact properties of the building materials are unfortunately very different from each other. There are no uniform and binding standards.

  • Mineral concrete has a high frost resistance.
  • It is a very good ballast base course material.
  • The building material is permeable to water. This property is achieved by adding greywacke and gravel.
  • Correct processing results in an even surface and high stability.
  • Immediately after completion, the surface can be loaded.
  • Damage to the material can easily be repaired.
  • If the surface dries out, the mineral concrete begins to dust.

Process mineral concrete

The building material is often mixed in a concrete plant. It is then delivered ready-made and can therefore be processed immediately. If you mix the mineral concrete yourself, pay attention to the exact mixing ratio and ensure that it is well mixed. The building material should be processed quickly after completion. In all cases it is important to ensure adequate drying.

Step 1 – Choose the right grain size

When choosing, you need to take into account the grain sizes of the building material. As a rule, you will find information in the form of “smallest grain / largest grain” on the signs. The background is that the mixture consists of grains of different sizes. This determines the properties, such as water permeability. For example, the variant “2/45” is possible. The numbers mean that the smallest grain size that is present in the material is 2 millimeters. The maximum size of the grains is 45 millimeters. The properties of the mineral concrete are determined by the grain mixture. The designs with zero components represent a special feature. For example, 0/45 is completely impermeable to water after compaction.

Mineral concrete – grains

Tip: You may only use waterproof base layers in combination with waterproof top layers. If the top layer is water-permeable, then a grain size that is water-permeable is also necessary for the base layer. The 2/45 grain creates a layer that leaves small gaps after compacting. The water can now seep through this.

Not only the smallest size is decisive for the behavior. The larger the largest grain, the more complex the compaction. If particularly large grain sizes are used, extremely powerful vibratory plates are also required.

Step 2 – apply building material

When applying, the thickness of the resulting layer is crucial. Please note, however, that the height changes again as a result of the subsequent compaction. The thickness of the mineral concrete layer depends on the planned load on the surface. A high load also requires a high base layer. You can roughly orientate yourself on the following guidelines:

  • The area is not driven on:
    • In this case, the thickness should be between 20 and 30 centimeters.
  • The area is driven on:
    • The thickness should be at least 40 centimeters.

Tip: In the case of high thicknesses (over 40 centimeters), you should first apply 20 centimeters and compress them. Then apply more material and process it. With this procedure you optimize the stability of the base course.

Step 3 – compact mineral concrete

A vibrating machine is advantageous for compacting. Before starting work, you need to distribute the mineral concrete as evenly as possible with a spade. The heavier the plate compactor, the higher the performance and the easier the work is. Compaction is an important step, as it ensures the resilience of the material.

Tip: Since it is a powerful and loud work tool, you must ensure that it is adequately protected. In any case, you should wear safety gloves as well as hearing protection.

Compact mineral concrete with a vibrating plate

Differences from concrete

Mineral concrete is a special form of classic concrete. It is similar to this in the areas of application, but differs in its composition due to the lack of cement. In principle, the building material is a mixture of stone grains of different sizes. These are mixed with water and finally compacted. This creates base layers that are used for roads and paths.

Tip: In general, mineral concrete is primarily used for large areas in the private sector. For example, you can use the building material to create the base layer for the foundation of the garden house. In this case, an alternative would be to use a layer of crushed stone after concreting the foundation. Due to the higher effort, the mineral concrete is therefore used less often for small areas.

Composition of mineral concrete

Sieve curve diagram

Even if you can read off the smallest and largest grain size at first glance, the exact composition is also decisive. There are many different sizes of the grains between the two values ​​given. In addition, the proportions of the different grains differ. For this reason, grading graphs exist. This shows the proportions. It is a percentage that shows all grains. This allows you to see the structure of the mixture.

Tip: The entry in the grading curve diagram is logarithmic. As a result, the distances between the individual values ​​are not linear. You must therefore read off each value exactly and cannot make a linear estimate from the curves drawn.

Sieve curve diagram

What is the ideal grading line?

The ideal grading line is also known as the Fuller’s parabola. It is the ideal distribution of the grains in relation to their size in a mixture. In this case, cavities are as similar as possible. A grain distribution is optimal when it comes as close as possible to this line.

The prices

The prices for the building material depend, among other things, on the grain size. Below are some examples of the cost. There are sometimes big differences between the individual offers, so it is worth comparing different offers.

regional specialist trade and well-known providers:

  • Grain size 0/16: 25 euros per ton
  • Grain size 0/32: 24 euros per ton

Price comparison on the Internet to find the cheapest offer:

  • Grain 0/16: 11.50 euros per ton
  • Grain 0/32: 11.50 euros per ton
  • Mineral concrete 0/22: 21.72 euros per ton
  • Mineral concrete 0/45: 20.77 euros per ton
  • Grain 0/56: 11.50 euros per ton

The prices already include the statutory VAT.

Tip: When ordering, please also note any delivery costs. If these are converted to low delivery quantities, then you can raise the price per ton again significantly.

The relationship between density, weight and volume – important for assessing prices.

Prices can refer to weight or volume. The relationship between the two quantities is established by the density. The following relationship applies:

Density = weight / volume

If you rearrange this formula according to the other two quantities, the following relationships result:

Volume = weight / density
Weight = density x volume

example

The weight of a 0/32 mixture is 1 ton. The specified volume is 0.61 m³. Then the following results for the density:

Density = 1 ton / 0.61 m³ = 1,000 kg / 0.61 m³ = 1639 kg / m³

Depending on the work specification, you need to know the volume or weight for the planned construction.

Tips for readers in a hurry:

  • the grain size determines the properties
  • Building material can be permeable or impermeable to water
  • Zero concrete is impermeable to water
  • Prices per volume or per weight
  • Density = weight per volume
  • Apply building material to the surface
    • Distribute as evenly as possible
    • work with plate compactors
    • Compress building material