The energy required to crush rocks is proportional to the amount of new surface area that is created; hence, a very important percentage of the energy consumed to produce construction aggregates is spent in producing non-commercial fines. Data gathered during visits to quarries, an extensive survey and laboratory experiments are used to explore the role of mineralogy and fracture mode in fines production during the crushing of single aggregates and aggregates within granular packs. Results show that particle-level loading conditions determine the failure mode, resulting particle shape and fines generation. Point loading (both single particles and grains in loose packings) produces clean fractures and a small percentage of fines. In choked operations, high inter-particle coordination controls particle-level loading conditions, causes micro-fractures on new aggregate faces and generates a large amount of fines. The generation of fines increases when shear is imposed during crushing. Aggregates produced in current crushing operations show the effects of multiple loading conditions and fracture modes. Results support the producers' empirical observations that the desired cubicity of aggregates is obtained at the expense of increased fines generation when standard equipment is used.
- Crushed stone
- Fracture modes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
- Geochemistry and Petrology