At Materials Market, our ballast is carefully sourced and rigorously tested to ensure it meets the highest standards of quality. Our 'all-in' ballast (a 50/50 sand and gravel mixture) combines the strength of sharp sand with the durability of 10/20mm shingle to help you create the ultimate support system for your project. Ideal for use in the production of concrete, our high-quality ballast bags ensure you make cost-effective concrete that is both strong and reliable.Find Out More About Our Types of Ballast
What Is Ballast?
Ballast is a combination aggregate typically composed of sharp sand and gravel, with grain sizes ranging from 0.1mm to 20mm.
Its combination of sharp sand and pea shingle creates a strong and durable binding agent when added to cement and water. Its addition aids in forming strong and dependable concrete. As a result, ballast is commonly used in the creation of base layers for garden walls, shed foundations, and path edging. It can also be used to fill voids in hardcore.
Ballast materials comprise pre-blended aggregates such as crushed stone, gravel, or other types of rock. The specific material used for ballast will depend on the location, the purpose of the construction project, and the specific requirements of the site.
No matter the application, ballast sand is primarily utilised for its functional properties in construction rather than for decorative purposes due to its coarse and unrefined appearance; it is most commonly incorporated into concrete mixes or utilised as a concealed base in building projects.
As well as our all-in ballast bulk bag, we supply many other aggregates, all at highly competitive prices to assist you in a wide range of construction projects. When you buy with Materials Market, good quality is always ensured, as is good value.
Ballast is suitable for general building use and a variety of construction applications, including:
- Concreting Applications: Ballast is often mixed with cement and water to create concrete, which can be utilised in a range of construction projects, such as in the construction of retaining walls, securing fence posts, path edgings, and shed bases.
- Sub-Bases For Paths: The sub-base serves as a foundation for various structures, including roads and pathways. In more demanding applications/large projects, larger aggregates like MOT type 1 are the preferred choice. Ballast sand, on the other hand, can be a suitable choice for lighter sub-base applications like pathways and paving.
Frequently Asked Ballast Questions
Can You Use Ballast For Creating Hand Mixed Concrete?
Yes, it is possible to mix concrete by hand using construction ballast. Concrete is made by mixing together cement, water, and a fine aggregate (such as sand) with a coarse aggregate (such as ballast).
To mix concrete by hand, you will need to follow these steps:
- Combine the dry ingredients: Mix together the cement, sand, and ballast in a large mixing container.
- Add water: Slowly add water to the dry mixture, stirring constantly to ensure the ingredients are well-combined. The amount of water you need will depend on the specific mix ratio being used and the desired consistency of the finished concrete.
- Mix the concrete: Continue mixing the concrete until it is smooth and uniform in consistency.
- Pour the concrete: Once the concrete is mixed, it can be poured into the desired form or mould.
Keep in mind that hand-mixing concrete can be labour-intensive and may not produce as consistent a mix as using a mechanical mixer. It is generally best to use a mechanical mixer for larger projects or for projects that require precise control over the mix.
Does The Weight Of Each Ballast Bag Vary?
Yes, despite the stated product weight, the actual weight of ballast bulk bags may vary depending on moisture content.
What Gravel is Used in Ballast Production?
Ballast products typically consist of a mixture of stones and gravel, which may include limestone, granite, gritstone, dolomite, trap rock, or quartzite. In certain instances, hard materials such as burnt clay may also be included in the mix.
These materials are typically sourced from local quarries and have a size range of 10mm-20mm. Due to the diverse range of stones used, the products may exhibit variations in colour, size, and shape.