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March 3-7, 2026

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Using Technology to Classify and Manage Aggregates



As many construction professionals know, an aggregate is one of the various components that come together to make up a compound material. With variables such as size, shape, and consistency, classifying aggregates can help manage them. Taking that one step further, technology can play a big role as well.

Classifying Aggregates

Size is one of the most important parts of classifying an aggregate. The size of the aggregate is divided between fine and coarse selections. Fine aggregate like sand is used to fill in the void created when coarse aggregates are combined.

Determining the shape of an aggregate can be challenging as most are obtained by blasting or crushing. Sorting by shape is necessary, as the shape will impact the concrete’s viability. Shape can be determined by the parent rock being used or the machine used to break it down.

Some builders or customers require materials that are smooth to the touch. Sorting aggregates by tactility can help achieve that goal, as it sorts the material by the way it feels. Tactility is an especially important consideration in the construction of specific projects like highways or bridges.

Construction professionals easily understand the importance of properly classifying aggregates by color. Thanks to the wide ranging color spectrum of aggregates, when properly sorted, they can lend their color to concrete products of every form.

Technology Solutions for Aggregates Management

The integrity of the product starts with its materials and proper classification of aggregates can sometimes mean the difference between success and catastrophe. Another way to classify and improve jobs involving aggregates is by using technology. Drones are a popular solution for working with aggregates, as a way to improve the work done on the jobsite.

Due to the high cost of manned aerial surveys, they may only be done once a year. Incorporating drones into the mine planning process gives contractors ways to compare volume measurements from stripping, takeoffs, and mine reclamation work, as well as to estimate levels of reserves.

Drones can frequently and automatically calculate the perimeter and volume for all the aggregate stockpiles, even the odd-shaped piles. They can survey a large site in minutes and have pile measurements that same day.

With aggregates, doing inventory means having to climb up and down stockpiles while carrying heavy equipment. Drones can collect all the data they need from a safe distance and reduce risk of injury to contractors. By combining these practices, construction companies can better manage their aggregates.

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