Stone ballast or stone metal is important material used in construction of building and roads. The strength of the structure depends on the quality of stone metal/ stone ballast. When you buy stone ballast, you should ensure that the quality from the laboratory tests. It should be according to the specifications.
The stone ballast should be broken from hard, durable, tough stone of uniform structure. It shall be angular in shape, possessing as low water absorption as possible and free from thin or elongated, soft, or disintegrated pieces, dust, rubbish, vegetable matter and other foreign materials.
The gauges for stone metal are 38mm, 50mm, and 65 mm and 75 mm. In building construction 38 mm gauge stone metal/ stone ballast is used for laying lean concrete in foundation under columns, walls etc.
Quality of Stone Metal/ ballast
You can perform the simple checks the ensure the quality of Stone Metal/ ballast in the field as mentioned below.
Stone Metal/ ballast should be free from lumps of earth, grass, decayed vegetation, silt, and sand particle etc.
Red, Yellow Red and white colored stone ballast is inferior in quality and available in the market at low cost. On rubbing these stones, the particles of stones broke easily.
Stone Metal/ ballast should be clean and clear from sand particles.
Stone Metal/ ballast should be clean and free from dust and other foreign materials. This happens in rainy season when the Stone Metal/ ballast is mixed with earth or has slush coat on it.
The material transporter have tendency to supply low-grade quality of material and try to supply less quantity of the material.
The supplier or truck owner has tactics or policy to make fool the house owner in many different ways as derived below:
Loss in strength due to low quality material
The Supplier/Truck owner may supply Stone Metal/ ballast below the specification such as Katcha stone mixed with earth, other impurities and slush coating. This type of Stone Metal/ ballast is cheap at ‘Quarry’ site/source of supply. The strength of PCC may reduce by 10 to 20 % if below specification material is used in construction.
Monetary Loss due to ignorance
If some precautions should be followed at the time of procuring the material from the supplier. These may help you save upto Rs.500 to Rs1000 per 1000 Cubic feet truck.
Precautions while Unloading Material:
You should first see the material in the truck before unloading the material and assure that the material is not the sub standard material. Even if the supplier tells you that he has carried the best material, you should check the quality using the guidelines above.
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