Sand is a granular material used in most construction projects. It comprises of hard broken particles from disintegrated rocks. The composition of sand will vary depending on the source. The common constituents include silica and calcium carbonate. For sand to be used in construction, it has to contain a high percentage of silica. It should have a purity of at least 95%. The main sources include open pits, dunes, beaches, river banks and ocean floor.
Types of sand:
Coarse sand: Course sand is mainly procured from dip pits and is used in concreting.
River sand: This is gathered from river banks and is used for plastering.
Artificial sand: Sand can be manufactured artificially by crushing granite or rocks.
Application of sand in construction:
- Making concrete
This is the major application of sand in construction. It is a major component in concrete that is used in buildings, bridges and pavements.
- Manufacture of bricks
Bricks are manufactured through a combination of soil, sand and limestone. The mixture is pressed, rolled into a strong sheet, and then cut into uniform bricks. The bricks are then subjected to high heat in an oven to make them hard and water resistance. Bricks are used in construction of buildings in the same way stones are.
- Manufacture of external siding
Sand is used in the manufacture of fiber cement siding where it is mixed with sand, cement and wood fibers. Fiber cement siding is used in homes because it is fire resistant, strong and does not rot.