The easy, and some would say lazy approach for a supplier of resin bound aggregate surfacing is to take a ‘one size fits all’ approach to their products which by its nature, although satisfactory in the short term, is unlikely to meet the users long term expectations of performance, durability and value for money.

This short term approach is to essentially source one or two readily available ‘off the shelf’ types of a suitably sized stone in standard weight bags from one supplier, and to combine these with a standard weight of either a single pack or two pack chemically curing resin binder, usually from a different supplier. The assumption being that the resultant product will be suitable irrespective of all the variations found between stone types and sources, and the different uses it will get in service.

The alternative approach, which we use at SureSet, is to ‘design’ each product using a documented design process which has as its aim the optimising of a set of properties for each product, so providing much more confidence that when in use it will fully meet the user’s expectations.

At SureSet we adhere strictly to this design process for all our products, which is carried out in our own in-house laboratory, backed up by both our own internal and external approved testing programme.

Our design method is based on formulating the optimal blend of stone sizes and types to meet pre-determined criteria and then to combine this blend with its ‘ideal’ proportion of a resin binder, which has in itself been formulated depending on the particular use of the finished surface.

The main design criteria are:-

• Aesthetic appeal
• Strength (crushing and sheer)
• Flexibility
• Permeability
• Workability
• Resistance to water damage
• Ecological factors

The relative importance of each, and the balance between them, will vary depending upon the specific application the product is being designed for.

An example is that material being used for Tree Pits or on a SuDS scheme, will have excellent permeability is a prime requisite, so this would be given precedent over and above what it might be given if the application was say for a shared driveway, when strength to resist damage by turning vehicles is very important.

Using a designed approach means that contrary to a ‘one size fits all’ approach, we can be completely confident that the product we supply will be ideally suited to the application, and that we can consistently deliver the performance and durability, coupled with its great aesthetic qualities that our customers require.

As a measure of this confidence we guarantee the performance of our product for 15 years after installation.