Concrete Mix Ratio Using Ballast
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Concrete Mix Ratio Using Ballast

Concrete is an essential material that is used in structures around the world. Favoured due to its durability, great strength and excellent resilience, if you work in the construction industry then you will know all too well just how important concrete is in a range of applications. 

Concrete is made up of a number of components including cement, water, aggregates and other supplementary additives and it is important that the ratios of these ingredients are optimised to ensure the mix achieves what it is you’re looking for.

One of the most popular aggregates that is often used in concrete mixes is ballast, and in this article, we’ll take a more in-depth look at the desired concrete mix ratio when using ballast. 

Read on to find out more.  



What Is Ballast?

Before we take a look at the ratios needed when mixing ballast to create concrete, it’s first important to understand exactly what ballast is. 

Ballast is a type of aggregate that is usually made from large sections of limestone or coarse gravel which is then mixed together with sand. When mixed together, it creates an extremely dense material that is ideal when providing stability and structural integrity to an application. 

It is often deployed for hard landscaping projects and can be provided in bespoke quantities depending on the requirements of the job. Due to the fact that it is useful for domestic and commercial projects, it is available to order in both large and small quantities. As a general rule, around 1,750kg to 1,800kg of ballast per metre squared is required for a project. Therefore 3,500kg of ballast is usually optimal for two cubic metres. However, we will go into more detail regarding these ratios in the sections below.  

Some of the most common projects ballast is used for include:

  • Paving
  • Stepping stones 
  • Curbs 
  • Garden walls
  • Conservatories 
  • Garages 
  • Shed bases 
  • And more 


Benefits Of Ballast Aggregates 

As mentioned above, ballast aggregates are suitable for a wide range of domestic and commercial applications and offer several benefits.

Some of their key advantages include:

  • Durability: High-quality ballast aggregates are durable and highly resistant to weathering, providing long-term performance and reducing the need for frequent replacements or maintenance. 
  • Stability and support: Ballast aggregates provide a stable and supportive base for a structure to be built upon or with. This ensures they remain level and aligned under heavy loads and adverse weather conditions. 
  • Load distribution: Ballast aggregates can help evenly distribute the load from building foundations over a larger area than other aggregates. This minimises stress and prevents dangerous settling or shifting from occurring. 
  • Vibration dampening: Ballast can absorb and dampen vibrations which may be beneficial in high-traffic areas where there are a lot of passing vehicles. It can also help to reduce noise pollution. 
  • Drainage: The coarse, granular nature of ballast aggregates allows for efficient drainage of water. This prevents water accumulation around constructive foundations or other concrete structures that have been built from this kind of aggregate. This reduces the risk of erosion and maintaining structural integrity. 
  • Flexibility and adjustability: These types of aggregates can be easily adjusted or re-distributed to correct any alignment issues or to accommodate future maintenance work. 
  • Environmental benefits: Often, ballast aggregates are made out of recycled materials contributing to sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of the construction process. 


Concrete Mix Ratio Using Ballast 

When it comes to creating any concrete mix, hardness and strength are usually the main traits that people concentrate on. When creating a mix of a specific hardness, the following rules and guidelines need to be followed.

For high-strength concrete, you need to use one part cement with five parts ballast. This means you will be provided with a mix that is water-tight and is typically used when creating paving slabs or concrete panels for buildings. 

You can increase this further by adding six parts ballast with one part cement. In these instances, you will be provided with a concrete mix that is suitable for driveways, paths, patios and more. 

For concrete foundations, you will need to use one part cement and eight parts ballast. 

As well as adapting the concrete mix ratio, you can also enhance the strength and durability by using specialist concrete mixes and additives. This may include adding reinforcements such as steel rebars into the mixture. 

For standard domestic uses, such as patio slabs, footpaths and garden steps, one cubic metre of concrete (3500 psi or 25MPa) can be created by mixing seven 50kg bags of cement with 0.7 metres of sand and 0.7 metres of stone aggregate. 


Concrete Grades 

At Concrete Supply UK, we create bespoke mixes for our clients on a daily basis that help them complete their projects on time and to the highest possible standards. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of these concrete grades that can be incorporated with ballast and are used frequently for both domestic and commercial projects. 

C20 concrete mix ratio using ballast   

A C20 concrete mix is typically used when creating lightweight applications such as domestic construction projects like patio slabs, garden walls and shed bases. 

This concrete grade has a ratio of one part cement, two parts fine aggregate and four parts coarse aggregate (like ballast). 

C25 concrete mix ratio using ballast 

An extremely versatile mix, C25 grades are commonly used for a range of construction processes including flooring, foundations, footings and more. 

The mix ratio for C25 concrete is made up of one part cement, one part fine aggregate and two parts coarse aggregates. 

C30 concrete mix ratio using ballast 

C30 concrete grades will be commonly used for pathways, paving, heavy-duty structures and areas that may experience heavy traffic. 

This mix ratio consists of one part cement, one and a half parts fine aggregate and three parts coarse aggregates such as ballast. 

C35 concrete mix ratio using ballast 

A C35 concrete grade is an extremely strong mix that can be used for a whole host of demanding construction projects. 

The ratio for this mix is one part cement, one part fine aggregate and two parts coarse aggregate. 

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