Top 6 Methods To Test The Quality Of Sand On-Site

What Is Sand

Sand is one of the most important ingredients in construction. It provides bulk, strength, and stability to other materials such as asphalt, cement, concrete, mortar, renders etc. Sand also acts as a primary base known as blinding that is laid above the layer of hardcore to provide a clean level, and dry surface for construction works.

Description Of Sand

Sand is basically a granular type of material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. Sand is a nonrenewable resource and is suitable for making concrete which is in high demand. Sand is the second most-consumed natural resource. It may look trivial but sand is the most vital ingredient of our lives.

Functionalities of Sand

Modern cities and architectural masterpieces are crafted with this primary raw material. The concrete used to construct shopping malls, offices, and apartment blocks, along with the asphalt we use to build roads connecting them, are largely just sand and gravel glued together.

The glasses in the windshield, every building's window, and the smartphone screen are made of melted down sand. The silicon chips inside our mobile and computer along with every piece of an electronic device in your home are made out of the sand.

We can use sand for filtration of water, it works as an abrasive. To beautify our painting or wall art, just add 2 cups of paint with a cup of sand, to recreate an abstract art.

Sand can be used for cleaning up oil leaks or any spill by dredging sand on that spill. The material will form clumps by soaking up, and we can quickly clean the mess.

Sand is mostly used as a road base which is a protective layer underneath all roads.

Sandy soils are ideal for growing crops, fruits and vegetables like watermelon, peaches, peanuts, etc.

Top 6 Methods to check the quality of Sand.

Quality of materials is very much essential and the main key of construction. To achieve the desired resistance power and strength of a structure, one should always use good quality of materials. In this article, we will brief you about the different tests conducted on-site to check the quality of Sand. The following easy test mentioned below helps us in detecting the quality of Sand.

1.Clay Test

First, take a glass bottle fill it with some amount of Sand and then add some quantity of water. Then shake it 10 times and allow some time to settle. If the clay is present in the sand, an apparent layer will form at the top level of Sand. This proves that the quality of sand is not good. One must immediately contact the sand supplier and reject the sand.

You can try another method by simply putting wet sand in your hand and then drop it. If there is a presence of clay in sands, it makes cohesion in your hand

2.Presence of Organic Impurities

Take some amount of sand and mix it with Caustic Soda or sodium hydroxide [NaOH]to distinguish the presence of organic impurities. If organic impurities are present in the sand the color of the solution will turn brownish. This type of sand is not suitable for construction. Good Quality of sand gives a lighter color when mixed with this kind of solution.

3.Test of Grading Sand

The particle size grading of sand for use in mortars shall be within the limits as specified in Table and For RCC works sand has to be coarser and for plastering works(zone 4) sand has to be finer.

Test of  Grading   Sand

Where the grading falls outside the limits of any particular grading zone of sieves, other than 600 microns is sieve, by a total amount not exceeding 5 percent, it shall be regarded as falling within that grading zone.

4. Visualization Test

The size of particles and fine aggregates i.e the sharpness of sand is checked by visualization. Sand should be free from organic impurities (like a shell, shingle, and other impurities) or they should be in limits that are easily identified by visualization.

5. Taste Test

This is the most simplest method to check the presence of salt in sand. Take a pinch of sand in your hand and taste it. If there is a presence of salt in the sand, it may taste salty. Hence this type of salt should be rejected as it is not suitable for construction. This type of sand is from river or sea sand

6.Earthy Matters in Sand

Almost every time earthy matters are present in the sand. It is a very common issue. To check the presence of earthy matters in the sand at the site, we must conduct the following test. Take a little amount of sand in hand and keep rubbing it against the fingers. If the fingers and palms are recolored, then it proves that the sand contains earthy matters.

Types Of Sand Used In Construction

For construction, sand is commonly used as an ingredient for concrete, with numerous options available, depending on what the project needs. Understanding the type of sand for your project's needs is very essential. Some of the common varieties of sands mentioned below are appropriate for Construction Projects.

Concrete Sand

Concrete is a type of course sand usually made of gneiss, trap rock, granite, or limestone. It has earned its name because it's the most common type used to mix cement or hot asphalt. It can also be used as a leveling base layer for patios or above-ground pools.

Crushed Stone

Crushed Stone Sand is made up of Granite or Basalt rock and is produced with a three-stage crushing process. Its main purpose is as a mortar mix for plastering.

Utility Sand

Utility sand is made up of Quartz. It is also called pipe sand as it used to backfill pipes after laying them. It is also served as a fill-in for trenches

4.Fill Sand

Fill is a type of fine sand that compacts well. It is used to backfill after plumbing and electrical work, as a base material for concrete, and to fill large holes. It's also often used for horse arenas and golf courses.

5. River sand

These types of sand are obtained from the banks of the rivers. The color of it is brown and since it has a high amount of moisture in it, it helps in improving the structural integrity of a building

Final Thoughts:

There is no doubt that sand is important to the construction industry. The importance of these natural grains should not be underestimated, especially for industries that rely on them. That is why you should take the time to decide which type of sand is the best for your projects. If one type of sand exceeds in durability that means it is perfect for everything. So one needs to understand the types of sand and their specific usage. This article gives a synopsis of types of Sand and the methods used to detect it's quality in the Construction Industry. Once the reader understands the types and the methods of detection of sand , it will be easy for selecting it for that particular construction project.

Top 6 Methods To Test The Quality Of Sand On-Site