Quartzite and granite are ideal ballast materials since they are igneous rocks. In the absence of these, lime stone and sand stone can be utilized as excellent ballast materials. These are sedimentary rocks that have been subjected to heat and pressure over time so they can take on a crystalline structure similar to quartz but more durable.
Lime is the main ingredient in limestone, which is why it's such an effective ballast material. Limestone is a dense rock that provides stable footing for your dock without needing reinforcing beams or columns. It also absorbs sound better than wood does, which is why docks made of this material are often called "sonic" docks.
Sand is the main ingredient in sandstone, which is why it's such an effective ballast material. Sandstone is a dense rock that provides stable footing for your dock without needing reinforcing beams or columns.
Bricks and mortar make up a brick patio. Bricks are the main ingredient in a brick driveway or patio. Brick is a dense building material that provides stable footing for your dock without needing reinforcing beams or columns.
The stone used as railway ballast must be firm, resistant, and nonporous, and it must not degrade when exposed to air and light. It is equally capable of running at great speeds. Its durability in public roads has led to its extensive use there as well.
Railway ballast is used throughout the world to stabilize soil and to create a smooth surface for trains to run on. The word "ballast" comes from the old English word "balle", which means "a heavy lump or mass". In railroad terminology, ballast is any type of coarse rock, gravel, or crushed stone that is used to maintain the levelness of tracks and to provide traction for trains. Railroads use several types of ballast: broken glass, cinders, gravel, loam, sand, and slag. Broken glass is still used today in some countries to stabilize soil near roadways and to provide nighttime visibility for motorists.
During construction of rail lines, the ballast will usually be removed from areas where it does not belong (such as under power lines) and replaced with cinder material. This prevents erosion and keeps the line level. As rail lines age, they tend to become uneven due to weathering and other factors. To restore the line's integrity, ballast is added back in places where it has been removed.
Ballast is a mixture of sharp sand and small stones or gravel that is used to build concrete for a range of landscaping purposes, including path edgings and shed bases, as well as kerbs for fastening fence posts. The term comes from the old practice of using this material to weigh down the sails of boats against wind resistance.
There are two types of ballast: natural and manufactured. Natural ballast consists of an uneven distribution of rock along with earth and sand collected from roads and beaches. This type of ballast is expensive because it has to be hand selected and sorted before it can be used in construction projects. Manufactured ballast is cheaper but not as even distributed as natural ballast and usually contains cinder blocks, stone, asphalt, or metal. It can be bought in bulk and placed by a contractor during site preparation before building foundations are constructed.
Natural ballast is used most often for landscape features such as pathways and garden borders while manufactured ballast is preferred for road surfaces and driveways because it's more stable and doesn't move around like natural ballast does in heavy traffic areas. However, both types of ballast are used to create flat surfaces when needed, such as the base of a shed or patio. They're also combined with graded soil to make hilling up objects at certain levels within the yard easier.
Ballast for concrete is made up of coarse elements such as sharp sand, gravel, and limestone. The majority of the cement mix is made up of concrete ballast, often known as aggregates. Ballast is also made from recycled materials such as air-cooled furnace slag or quenched molten slag. These types of ballast are called reactive.
The main purpose of using ballast in making concrete is to increase the density (weight per volume) of the product. This allows for the reduction of material costs while still providing adequate strength and durability for most applications.
Ballast can be used in either fresh concrete or old concrete that needs more weight. For example, if you need a heavy slab for a foundation, you could use ballast to get the required density. Or, if you need a light colored concrete for a driveway, walkway, or pool deck, you could use ballast to reduce the amount of white pigment needed.
The type of ballast you use will determine how much it will cost to produce your concrete. For example, fine ballast such as powderized metal ore, ground glass, or crushed rock will cost more because there's less aggregate per ton than coarser ballast. Coarse ballast also has less reactivity than fine ballast so it takes more of it by volume to achieve the same result in concrete.
Crushed stone, crushed air-cooled blast-furnace slag, crushed open hearth slag, and crushed or uncrushed gravel are all permitted for use as railway ballast in the United States. The materials must be made of hard, robust, and long-lasting particles that are devoid of harmful levels of harmful chemicals. Crushed rock is by far the most common type of ballast used for railroad tracks.
The best-known example of a railroad track covered with crushed stone as ballast is the "Philadelphia cobble" roadbed upon which many early American railways were built. Cobbles are small, pebble-like stones, so this type of ballast was well suited to the needs of those early railroads.
In modern times, railroad companies prefer concrete to stone as ballast because it's cheaper and easier to maintain. But they still use rock as ballast when they need to pour certain types of crossings (such as underpasses) or when they're just following what has always been done. For example, there are several locations along the Gulf Coast where you can see old railroad beds covered with crushed stone because that's all the railroad company could afford back then.
These days, most railroads that own their own tracks choose some form of asphalt or concrete for their roadbeds.