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What is Crusher Dust?

Crusher dust is a byproduct obtained during the crushing process of rocks into smaller particles. It is commonly used in construction and landscaping due to its various benefits with its main use being as a base for paving and as a bedding material. It is known by various names including packing sand, crusher run, quarry dust, and sometimes road base. This material consists of crushed stone and mineral particles produced when rocks break down. Its composition includes a mixture of different-sized particles, ranging from fine powder to small fragments.

The size and characteristics of the crusher dust can vary depending on the source and type of rock being crushed. The particles of crusher dust are generally smaller and more finely graded than traditional stone or gravel. This allows it to be more compact and offers better drainage characteristics. It is often used as a base or bedding material for paving stones, concrete slabs, and other construction projects, providing stability and compactness.

Additionally, the rough texture of the crusher dust particles helps improve drainage and prevent erosion. With its versatility and practicality, crusher dust has become popular in the construction industry in Australia.

The Geology Of Crusher Dust

Crusher Dust (Packing Sand) in Australia originates from a variety of different geological sources, depending on the local rock types and quarries. Some of the most common geological formations that crusher dust is derived from include:

• Granites – These hard igneous rocks formed from cooled magma are common throughout Australia. Granite crusher dust is pale grey to pink in colour.

• Basalts – Formed from lava flows, basalts are another common igneous rock and source of crusher dust, especially in Victoria and Tasmania. Basalt dust is dark grey to black.

• Limestones and Dolomites – Sedimentary rocks consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, limestones and dolomites underlie large parts of Australia. Crusher dust from these rocks is off-white to pale brown.

• Sandstones – Widespread sedimentary rocks formed by cemented quartz sand, sandstone quarries provide crusher dust that is pale brown to reddish in colour.

• Quartzites – Metamorphosed sandstones that have been transformed into hard quartz-rich rock, quartzites yield pale grey to white crusher dust.

The geological age and formation history of these parent rock types influences properties of the resulting crusher dust like hardness, density and chemical composition. However, in general terms crusher dust in Australia is a versatile and economical material that can be used for a wide range of construction, landscaping and agricultural purposes due to its granular nature and composition of crushed stone.

Benefits Of Using Crusher Dust

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Crusher dust is cheaper than traditional gravel or stone aggregate, making it a more affordable option for projects that require a base layer. Crusher dust offers a cost-effective alternative to materials like gravel and crushed stone.

Improved Drainage

The small particle size and void spaces between particles allow water to drain through crusher dust layers more effectively. This is beneficial for pavement, retaining walls, and landscaping. The fine particles of crusher dust form a permeable layer with spaces between the particles, allowing water to drain through.

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Crusher dust is well-graded and compactable which is why it’s also called Packing Sand. This allows it to form a stable base for other construction materials. The particles of crusher dust are uniformly graded, filling in gaps and compacting well under pressure. This allows it to form a dense, stable base.

Increased Strength

When used as an additive in concrete and mortar, crusher dust can fill voids between cement particles and increase the overall strength. By filling in the spaces between cement particles, crusher dust can increase the density and strength of concrete and mortar mixtures.

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Common Uses Of Crusher Dust

Crusher dust, which is relatively affordable, is commonly utilized as a filler and packing material surrounding water tanks, to backfill trenches and beneath concrete pathways, slabs, tank pads and driveways, and blended with natural sands to enhance concrete shrinkage and water demand or for any areas requiring compaction. This product can also be mixed with cement to create a stronger mixture. More Details below:

As A Road Base

  • Crusher dust (packing sand) is commonly used as a base layer for pavement construction. It provides a stable base that helps distribute loads.

  • The small particles of crusher dust compact well and fill voids between larger aggregate pieces.

  • As a permeable material, it allows water to drain through the pavement structure.

Crusher dust, which is relatively affordable, is commonly utilized as a filler and packing material surrounding water tanks, to backfill trenches and beneath concrete pathways, slabs, tank pads and driveways, and blended with natural sands to enhance concrete shrinkage and water demand or for any areas requiring compaction. This product can also be mixed with cement to create a stronger mixture.

As A Soil Amendment

  • Crusher dust can be mixed into existing soil to improve its structure and drainage.

  • Adding around 20% crusher dust by volume to clay-based soil can help aerate the soil and allow for better root growth.

In Concrete and Mortar

  • Mixing crusher dust into concrete or mortar can reduce the cost while maintaining strength.

  • Around 15-30% replacement of fine aggregate with crusher dust is generally recommended.

In Landscaping and Gardens

  • Crusher dust makes a permeable base for paving, pathways, patios, and other hardscaping in landscape design.

  • It can also be used as a mulch or top dressing around plants to help retain moisture and control weeds.

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Cubic Metre To Tonne Conversion

The weight conversion from cubic metres to tonnes for crusher dust can vary depending on the material and compaction, but is typically 1.6 tonnes per cubic metre. The factors that influence the conversion include:

• Particle size – Finer particles will weigh more per cubic metre compared to coarser particles.

• Material type – Different rock types have varying densities, which affects the weight.

• Compaction – More compacted crusher dust will weigh more per cubic metre.

• Voids – The amount of void space between particles impacts the weight. More voids mean less weight per cubic metre.


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Assuming a standard blue metal crusher dust which is approximately 1.6 tons per cubic meter. To convert cubic meters to tonnes, you can use the formula:

Tonne=Cubic Meter×DensityTonne

For example, if you have 5 cubic meters of crusher dust, the conversion to tonnes would be:

5 m3×1.6 tonnes=8 tonnes

Crusher Dust Delivery

The process of getting Crusher Dust or Packing sand delivered to your project site involves careful consideration of various factors, including your delivery preferences and requirements.
RUBBL is your go-to packing sand delivery partner. With three effective delivery options to suit all your landscaping needs, vehicle tracking, paperless invoicing, ordering, and receiving crusher dust/packing sand is a breeze!

Considerations For Delivery

There are other considerations to consider when ordering Crusher Dust, and RUBBL has them all covered. Factors such as site access, timing, and site preparation should be taken into account to prevent delays and complications. With the RUBBL App, you can specify all this information with ease, making your delivery incredibly simple and hassle-free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

The most commonly used term in Australia for Crusher Dust is packing Sand. It is also known by other names such as quarry screening and stone dust.

Yes, crusher dust can be used as an alternative to sand in concrete mixes. It is often preferred for its workability and durability.

The depth to which crusher dust should be applied depends on the intended use and load-bearing requirements. Typically, for driveways or paths, a depth of 50-100mm is common, but it's essential to consider engineering standards and project specifications.

Yes, crusher dust is beneficial when used as a soil amendment in gardens. It helps improve drainage, aeration and nutrient retention due to its porous and granular nature.

You can work crusher dust into garden beds before planting or spread it as a mulch around plants. As a rule of thumb, incorporate around 2-5 cm of crusher dust into the topsoil. Avoid direct contact with plant stems.


In most cases, crusher dust is safe to use in gardens when applied in moderate amounts. However, some types of crusher dust that are high in alkaline content could raise the soil pH and impact acid-loving plants.

Crusher dust is used as base material and road base for driveways, parking areas and roads. It is also used as a levelling material and subbase for slabs and footings.

Crusher dust can replace a portion of the sand aggregate in concrete mixes. It is typically used at replacement rates of 10-30% and can improve workability and reduce shrinkage in the concrete.

Yes, using crusher dust as a base before laying decorative pebbles is a good idea. It helps create a stable, level surface for the pebbles to sit on and prevents them from sinking into the soil over time. Here are the basic steps:

First, excavate the garden bed to the desired depth, usually around 10-15 cm. Then spread a layer of crusher dust that is 5-10 cm thick and rake it level.

Next, moisten the crusher dust with water. This will help it settle and compact when you walk on it. You can also use a tamper or compactor to firmly press the dust into the soil.

Once the crusher dust base is level and compact, lay your decorative pebbles on top. Spread the pebbles evenly across the garden bed, filling any low spots.

For the best results, use pebbles that are at least twice as large as the maximum size of the crusher dust particles. This will prevent the pebbles from sinking into the dust over time.

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