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Types of Sand Used in Construction

What is Sand?

Sand is a naturally occurring material that can be found in places like rivers, seas, beaches, and deserts. A granular substance called sand is made up of tiny rock fragments. Silica, often known as silicon dioxide or SiO2 is the primary and most prevalent component of sand and is typically found as quartz. Rock weathering results in the formation of sand, which is made up of microscopic particles. Sand is a crucial building resource that is utilised for many different things. In this blog, we will briefly examine several sand types utilised in a building. 

Sand can typically be found naturally in rivers, the sea, and other bodies of water. In addition to these natural sources, it can also be produced artificially. Sand particles are both coarser and finer than silt and gravel. So the size of sand particles ranges from 0.075 mm to 4.75 mm, according to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), formerly known as the Indian Standard Institution (ISI).

Sand is further categorised into three categories: fine, medium, and coarse, depending on the size of the individual particles. 

Types of Sand

Based on factors such as sand particle size, colour, form, structure, location of availability and texture sand is divided into various categories.

Below, we will learn in detail about some of the primary sand varieties that are commonly used in building projects.

  • Concrete Sand: Concrete sand is formed comprised of particles of crushed concrete, as the name already suggests. For concrete projects, this kind of sand is typically utilized. The strength and stability of a building are provided by concrete sand. To prepare the combination for usage, the concrete pieces are crushed and the mixture’s larger fragments are eliminated. The base for walkways, patios, and layers are all levelled with the use of concrete sand. Usually, there are fine particles in the concrete sand. As a result, it is also utilised to fill in the spaces between coarse aggregates.
  • River Sand: Sand found on riverbanks is known as river sand since it is naturally occurring. It is the kind of sand that is most frequently utilised in buildings. River sand is sand with small particles. Its texture is silky. In order to provide a smooth finish, it is used for RCC construction as well as plaster projects. Sand found in rivers is typically a whitish-grey colour. With cement, aggregates, and water, this sand forms a strong bond well because of its smooth and fine texture. Since river sand can be acquired naturally and is less expensive than other types of sand, it is frequently utilised in construction.
  • Pit Sand: A coarse variation called pit sand is typically extracted from an open pit. It typically has a reddish-to-orange colour and is made up of quartz and other minerals like mica, clay, and feldspar in addition to quartz. Because it is so strong and stable, this kind of sand is frequently employed in the building sector. Landscaping, plastering, digging and the production of concrete, mortar, and asphalt are the principal uses for pit sand. When a stronger material is needed, it is also used to fill different kinds of pits and holes in the ground. Other names for pit sand include sharp sand, coarse sand, and bank run sand.
  • Utility Sand: Many landscaping and building tasks require utility sand. This kind of sand is a coarse, unprocessed granular substance that can be utilised to fill big gaps and level up uneven surfaces. It is frequently used as a foundation for driveways, sidewalks, and other places that require a solid footing. Utility sand is commonly used and accessible and because of its easy application and efficient surface stabilization, it is a great option for many projects.

Utility sand typically consists of very fine to coarse-grained sand-sized particles. As a result, it can be applied in a variety of ways such as a foundation course for pavements or as a fill for excavations. It may also be used to fill ditches or other drainage control-related regions. Utility sand can also regulate pavement height, producing a level and consistent surface.

  • Fill Sand: Backfilling, bedding, and general filling are the main uses for filling sand. A versatile building material known as fill sand is created from finely crushed rocks and minerals like quartz, granite, limestone, and other minerals. Fill sand may contain stones, clay, and shells, depending on where it comes from. Since fill sand often has a light colour, it blends well with existing landscapes. Filler sand aids in levelling the surface and enables compaction when used to backfill concrete constructions ensuring a sturdy foundation. Additionally, drainage around pipes, ditches, and other low-level applications can be accomplished with fill sand. Fill sand can help to raise and level areas while allowing water to move through when used in gardening and landscaping.
  • M-Sand: Rocks are crushed and sized with a screen to produce M-sand, also known as manufactured sand. Due to its hardness and longevity, this sand is frequently utilised in the construction of roads and buildings. M-sand doesn’t contain any organic contaminants that could eventually harm structures, unlike natural sand. Additionally, due to the effective manufacturing method M-sand is significantly less expensive than natural sand. 

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