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Recycled Aggregates: An Emerging Key Trend in the Construction Aggregate Market

Construction Aggregate Market


3% Growth Forecasted For the US Construction Aggregates Market 2018-2022

A recent report from Technavio, a leading global technology research company, is projecting 3% growth in the US construction aggregate market with recycled aggregates playing a key role (Source: Business Wire).

While a slight moderate slowing of year-over-year momentum is expected, the dominant nonbuilding sector plans to increase its market share from 45% to 49% with the fastest growth rate over the 2018-2022 period. As CAGR in the construction aggregate sector rises, recycled aggregates have become the key emerging trend. Thus, providing both sustainability and cost-efficiency for today's demanding construction business environment.

Environmental Impact Triggers Demand For Recycled Aggregates

At Resource Erectors, we've been tracking environmental impact in industries across the board and the construction aggregates sector is certainly no exception. As we've noted in many cases, environmentally motivated changes driven by the need for industries to appease the green-sensitive consciousness of the 21st Century, a movement led by the US, quite frequently results in a win/win solution for the enterprises who embrace sustainability. 

In fact, recycled aggregates provide a win/win solution as well, first by reducing the environmental impact of mining operations required to tap into fresh resources. Supplies are supplemented by reusing concrete and asphalt created by construction demolition.

Secondly, new construction site expenses are reduced by decreasing the need for fresh aggregates while eliminating significant costs for debris transporting and landfill space. 

RCA: Recycled Concrete Aggregates

According to the Portland Cement Association (PCA), 38 states use RCA as an aggregate base. Eleven recycle it into new Portland cement concrete with reported performance equal to that of concrete using fresh natural aggregates. The crushed stone sector makes up the dominant 59% of the construction aggregates market.

Fortunately, the crushing characteristics of hardened concrete are similar to the characteristics of natural rock making it perfectly suitable for applications, including:

  • Various types of general bulk fill projects
  • Bank protection
  • Base or fill for drainage structures
  • Road construction
  • Noise barriers and embankments

Reinforcing steel, asphalt, and other construction debris such as gypsum board, glass, wood, and roofing materials must be removed from the source concrete using selective demolition and screening techniques but the payoff for that effort is significant. The recycled concrete actually has some advantages over fresh aggregate concrete since it contains the hydrated cement paste of the old cured concrete as well as the original aggregates. The paste reduces specific gravity, and increases porosity which in turn increases absorption.

When natural sand is used in the mix up to 30% of natural crushed aggregate can be replaced with recycled aggregate without affecting the mechanical properties of the concrete.

RAP: Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

Old pavement also contains aggregates and asphalt which can be recycled by crushing and screening. As the Federal Highway Administration reports, RAP consists of high-quality aggregates coated by asphalt cement. RAP almost always ends up back in the highway infrastructure, but it also has applications in base and subbase construction. The FHA estimates as much as 36 million metric tons of RAP generated, or 85%, is used for these applications.

In-place hot and cold recycling with self-propelled pulverizing machines have evolved to the point that continuous train processes can strip the pavement surface, mix the reclaimed material with fresh aggregates and binders, and place and compact the RAP mix in a single pass.

This reduces transportation cost by eliminating the need to truck material to and from central RAP processing facilities.

Construction Aggregate Careers at Resource Erectors

The Construction Aggregate industry is one of many relying on the recruiting expertise at Resource Erectors to find the most qualified professional talent they require to excel in a growing and competitive market. We have management and supervisory level jobs available in diverse locations all around the US including aggregate processing equipment, technical sales, silica sand production, and applications engineering. So contact us. and discover how we can work with you in advancing your career in the construction aggregate field. 


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About Author

Dan Duszynski
Dan Duszynski

CEO and President of Resource Erectors, Inc.. A search and recruitment firm serving the mining and mineral processing, engineering, and civil construction industries of North America.

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