Sand is one of the most commonly used and an important material in construction. Sand is used as fine aggregate in concrete and used in plastering along with cement. Its also used as a filler materials beneath the tiles. There are various types of Sands currently that can be used in Construction.
Types of Sand Used in Construction
1. River/Natural Sand
River Sand is usually obtained from River Beds and Banks. It is usually very fine in quality and has a white-grey color. River Sand is good for all construction activities like concrete production and plastering as it is well graded. As per the Indian Standard codes, sand used in preparation of concrete and in plastering should ideally confirm to IS-383 Zone-II. Refer the table to understand how Zone classification is given for sand
River Sand is banned in lot of places due to the adverse affects caused to the natural environment. As it is obtained naturally, river sand contains some silt also.
2. Manufactured Sand (M-Sand) & Plaster Sand
Manufactured Sand is manufactured by proper crushing of aggregates into finer materials of required particle size (generally using VSI technology). Since quality control is maintained in the process of preparing manufactured sand, the sand obtained will better confirm to the Zone-II grading standards at all times. The don’t have any organic or silt materials.
3. Pit Sand
Pit sand is extracted from Deep pits dug underneath the ground. It usually have a coarser grain size. It is not recommended in construction activities as the particle size is too large.
Guidelines for Selecting Good Sand That can Be used for Construction
Sand Should have to following main properties to be treated as good for construction use:
- Silt Content should be less than 3% by weight (12% by volume in 10 min)
- Sand should be free from Organic materials
- Sand shall not contain any harmful impurities such as iron, pyrites, alkalies, salts, coal or other organic impurities
Which Sand is good for Construction
Coming to the question on which sand is good for construction activities, there is no definite answer for this. e decision should be taken based on the following criteria:
- Local availability
- Quality of sand available
- Landed Cost of sand
If the sand available confirms to the above quality standards mentioned and locally available the you can use any one of those for your construction activities.
If natural river sand is not available you can use m-sand for concreting purposes.
For Plastering, If natural river sand is not avilable, go with Plaster Sand. Plaster Sand is Sand well graded and sieved for plastering requirements.