A. What is gravel and its uses
Gravel is a type of coarse aggregate composed of small rock fragments, typically ranging from 2mm to 64mm in size. It is formed through natural weathering processes or crushed from larger rocks. Gravel is widely used in construction as a base material for roads, driveways, and foundations. It also finds application in landscaping, concrete production, and drainage systems due to its excellent permeability properties.
B. Importance of proper compaction
Proper compaction of gravel is vital to ensure a stable and strong foundation in construction. Effective compaction reduces voids between particles, increasing the material’s density and load-bearing capacity. It prevents settlement, improves overall stability, and minimizes the risk of structural failures, enhancing the longevity and performance of the construction project.
C. Factors affecting gravel compaction
1. Moisture content
An optimal moisture range ensures particles bind together, aiding compaction. Too little moisture leads to inadequate binding, while excessive moisture causes reduced compaction efficiency.
2. Gravel particle size and shape
Larger particles create larger voids, requiring more effort to achieve compaction. Irregular shapes can hinder interlocking, affecting density and stability.
3. Type of gravel material
Angular and rough-textured gravel tends to compact better than rounded or smooth gravel due to improved interlocking between particles. Coarse materials often provide better compaction results than fine-grained ones, as the latter may trap air and hinder compaction efforts.