Natural sand vs Manufactured sand
Natural sand / River sand has been used in construction for many centuries. Recently for past few years due to various reasons, we have to use manufactured sand / crushed sand. Let’s discuss about the properties and applications of manufactured sand comparing with Natural sand.
Natural sand is sourced from river beds. Process is very simple, find a suitable location where quantum of sand bed is high and quarry it. Filtered sand should be avoided (Read more for Filtered sand).
Manufactured sand / crushed sand are the product of crushing and grading of suitable granite stones. (Quarry dust should not be considered as manufactured sand).
2. Shape & texture:
River sand is mostly in spherical in shape & smooth in texture, that helps in very good Workability and getting highest compaction is possible. Also higher percentage of Bulkage property is possible comparing with manufactured sand.
Manufactured sand is mostly in irregular shape and rough in texture. Due to this there can be slight reduction in Workability and compaction. But I personally feel that these effects are negligible. Since these sands have rough texture Bulkage would be lesser than natural sand.
If the manufactured sand is been properly graded, there won’t be much difference in size against natural sand.
4. Silt Content:
Based on the sourcing location natural sand can have higher silt content.
If the grading process done properly, manufactured sand will have lesser silt content
5. Storage & Handling:
Not much difference in storage and handling between natural sand and manufactured sand.
6. Usage in construction:
Manufactured sand can be used in all the places where natural sand has been utilized.
Because of irregular shape and rough texture, at times Workability will be affected. Because of this Masons will be having some complaints, mainly in plastering activity.
To overcome this issue we need to inform and get manufactured sand with well gradation i.e., with proper distribution various particle sizes in the sand.
7. Advantages & Disadvantages:
Disadvantages with natural sand are possibility of higher silt content and or higher Bulkage is possible.
If the crushing and grading processes are ensured properly, manufacturing sand will have only disadvantage of slightly lower workability.
Yet in macro level, natural sand rates will be keep on increasing compared to manufactured sand.
There is no doubt future will be manufacturing sand only………..!
Manufactured sand will be the future. Once our work forces get use to it, things will be smooth.