Blog: Aggregate Matters
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What does urbanization have to do with rock crushing?

Early in the 20th century, less than 20% of the world’s population lived in urban areas, but that number is expected to climb to about 70% by 2050. This change requires vast amounts of aggregates. Metso and its predecessors have provided rock crushing and screening equipment and entire crushing plants for quarries and contractors since the early 1900s.

Metso’s history has its origins in the 1860s when the first industrial revolution had made its impact on the ways of living and consuming. Roads and railway networks were being built, and more and more people began moving to towns and cities. The construction industry started to boom, not only because of the organic growth of cities and transportation networks, but also because of the massive reconstruction needs after the wars. In addition, the increasing use of concrete grew the demand for sand. Since then, there has been a high demand for aggregates.

Some of our predecessors, like Ateliers Bergeaud in France and Lokomo in Finland, began manufacturing rock crushing and screening equipment already in the early 1900s to help meet the skyrocketing need for aggregates. Thanks to our long experience in this industry, we now offer the best available technology for the crushing of rock into different types of aggregate. Without high-quality gravel and sand, it would be impossible to build houses, airports, roads, railroads, bridges, and dams. 

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New challenges ahead

With population growth and the fast rate of urbanization, there are new challenges in the production and recycling of aggregates. Traditionally, aggregates have been produced with stationary crushing plants located in quarries outside urban areas. With the expansion of cities, today crushing is increasingly being done with mobile crushing plants at construction sites. Eliminating the need to transport aggregates from quarries to a construction site leads to improved efficiency, lower costs and reduced emissions.

When working in densely populated areas, easy maneuvering and reducing noise and dust emissions are crucial. Metso’s solution is Lokotrack® Urban, a track-mounted crushing plant designed to safely crush rocks and construction demolition material, even in the heart of the city. Its innovative design features lead to up to 60% better noise protection and remarkable cuts in dust emissions.  

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In road or tunnel construction projects, mobile crushing plants that can be easily transported and operated along the construction site are becoming more and more popular. Contractors also want plants that are easy to maintain and operate, plants that minimize waste, dust and noise emissions – and this is exactly what Metso offers. Today’s crushing and screening technology allows for the recycling of materials like concrete and asphalt. To help ensure continuous production efficiency and the sustainable operation of crushing plants, Metso also offers Life Cycle Services agreements to contractors and quarry operators. 

To manufacture concrete, you need sand. In many areas of the world, the use of river and sea sand has been banned or is strictly regulated. A replacement for natural sand is sand that has been manufactured from rock. This requires a specially designed process and equipment. Metso has been a forerunner in developing this technology and today offers leading solutions for the production of industrially manufactured sand.


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