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Aggregates

 

The construction industry is one of the essential industries in Cyprus that employs a significant portion of the workforce.  The reinforced concrete is the most widely used construction material.  Two of the key components of concrete are sand and gravel, also known as aggregates.

 

When the use of concrete began in Cyprus, marine and river deposits (sand and gravel) were used as aggregates.  Naturally, these aggregates were the product of eroding rocks.  Because the major rivers of Cyprus originate from the Troodos Mountains, the natural aggregates are made of ophiolitic rocks.  Most of these rocks, if examined separately, are not suitable for the production of concrete due to their chemical and physical characteristics.  For this reason, but also for environmental protection purposes, the use of natural aggregates has been abandoned.

 

Another source of aggregates is the limestone (recrystallised and dolomitic) of the Pentadaktylos Range (Hilarion and Sykhari Formations) in the northern part of Cyprus.  The physical and mechanical properties of the Pentadaktylos limestone make this material an excellent source for crushed aggregates.  Limestone from the Pakhna Formation (Terra and Koronia Members) is also used for the production of crushed aggregates (Fig. 13).

 

Crushed aggregates (Fig. 10 and 11) are also produced from diabase (Fig. 12) in the southern part of Cyprus.  Diabase is an intrusive rock of late Cretaceous age with a microcrystalline texture and basaltic composition and occurs as dykes in the Sheeted Dyke Complex and the Basal Group of the Troodos Ophiolite.  It is tough, compact, abrasion resistant, inert to chemical and physical disintegration and generally free from harmful substances.  The diabase outcrop is in excess of 1,000 km²; it is widely distributed within the igneous complex of the Troodos Ophiolite and forms a large part of the Troodos Range.

 

Sand (fine aggregate) is also produced from calcarenite units of the Nicosia and Athalassa Formations.  The calcarenite is excavated from open pits and crushed, screened and washed.

 

 

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