Applications

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austone-applicationsHow the pebble is used

The pebbles produced are used in a wide range of applications. These include:

Grinding Media

In quite recent time the development of fine grinding mills has enabled some mines to recover ultra-fine values that otherwise would have been dumped with tailings. A large proportion of these mills choose to use natural material as the abrasive. Austone currently supplies mine in four states in Australia, including Western Australia. The size of pebbled (or ‘sand’ as it is commonly called) required varies from mine to mine depending on the nature of the ore. To date Austone has supplied sizes ranging from 1.6mm to 10mm.

Exposed Aggregate Paving

Pebbles are used in the paving market as exposed aggregate in internal and external projects for commercial and industrial applications as well as domestic projects. Sizes commonly used are 6mm, 10mm and 12mm. When the bonding agent is resin rather than concrete the preferred sizes are 1.6mm and 3mm.

Concrete walls and other vertical structures.

As in paving, pebbles are used as exposed aggregate on concrete walls for buildings or in uses such as highway dividers. Resin bonded finishes are commonly used in vertical applications due to the reduced likelihood of slumping. The preferred resin is acrylic and the common sizes bonded are 1.6mm and 3mm.

Concrete Products

A number of smaller concrete products are made with an exposed aggregate exterior and sold mainly through landscape yards. Some examples are paving slabs, stand-up panels for factory or warehouse wall, curbing, dividing strips or ‘safety zones’ on public roads, housing for public waste bins etc. The sizes most commonly used are 6mm, 10mm and 12mm.

Pool Linings

Pebble lined pools are an Australian innovation. The yellow nature of the finer Nambucca pebbles and the blue effect of clear water at depth tend to give the water in these pebble lined pools an attractive pale green reflection.
Water Spear Points and Bores.

Austone supplies pebble which act as a filter to the inflow of ground water. The pebble fills the annular space between the wall of the bore and the perforated internal pipe which houses the down-hole pump.

Landscaping

Pebbles of all sizes are used for landscaping, but the vast majority of jobs call for material of 20mm or larger. Many projects with large internal public space have used the Austone pebbles including the South Brisbane Art Centre where the pebbles are bedded in the internal waterways.

Commercial/Industrial Paints and Plasters

There is a demand for fine pebbles and carefully graded sands as a filler, or bulking agent in thick or heavy paints used to coat – and sometimes waterproof commercial and industrial walls. Additionally the ‘scratch coats’ applied with both paints and plaster use carefully graded and sized pebbles.

Low temperature refractories

Some refractories used for lining a variety of equipment require a ‘flow component’, which enhances the speed and ease of application to the metal surfaces involved. Pebbles are used in this way but as quartz has a relatively modest melting point their use is restricted to low temperature refractory types.

Pipe Bending

There is a small and specialised demand for pebble to be used as filler in the process of bending large diameter pipes. The Nambucca pebbles will not melt, coalesce or bond when the pipe is fired to red hot. The pebble filling insure the pipe does not kink or wrinkle when bent or twisted.

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