Dry Bulk

The Extensive Uses of Sand in the Construction Industry

Posted by on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 in Dry Bulk, News

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The uses of sand are vast and varied. Many people don’t realize that the fine granular material played in at the beach and lining volleyball courts plays an important part in almost all areas of modern day construction.

Sand is composed of a variety of materials dependent upon where the sand is located. Beach sand is comprised of quartz, silica, rock fragments, and small bits of seashell. Alternatively, sand found in deserts is composed almost entirely of quartz and small bits of rock such as sandstone. Industrial sand must contain a high percentage of silica; at least 95% purity is the ideal for construction applications. Sand destined for industrial purposes is typically mined from an open pit. It can also be harvested from beaches, dunes, and dredged from the ocean floor. These techniques are controversial, however, as they are said to damage the surrounding landscape and ecosystem.

Despite the claims against its harvesting, industrial sand finds a place in hundreds of applications throughout the fields of construction and more.

Brick

Bricks have been one of the most used materials for constructing sturdy housing structures and other buildings for centuries. They are mostly comprised of some type of clay-bearing soil, sand, and limestone. This mixture is kneaded then rolled out into one long sheet before being chopped into individual bricks. The bricks can then be fired in a large oven for several days. This makes the bricks hard and water resistant.

Concrete

Industrial sand is also a main component in concrete. Like brick, concrete can be found in almost every city all over the world. Concrete makes up building wall exteriors, sidewalks, driveways, the patios of homes, and more. Sand is one of the main ingredients in cement, which goes on to combine with other materials such as water and aggregate to form the concrete we all know.

Mortar

Like concrete, cement is also a main ingredient in mortar. Mortar is the glue which holds bricks and other masonry together, providing it with the strength that brick is so known for.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber cement siding is created by mixing cement, sand, and wood fibers into a paste and then pressing it into shape. The shaped slats or panels are then cured and can be used on any home needing an external siding. It is strong, fire resistant, termite repellant, and will not rot.

Asphalt

And finally, sand is an important component in asphalt, also known as blacktop or asphalt concrete. Sand is a key component in the creation of asphalt materials, acting as a means of transportation for the binding agent due to its large amount of surface area per volume.

These are only a few examples of where sand fits into the construction industry. If you would like more information, we welcome you to contact us today for all you dry bulk transportation needs.

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