Sand for building
Which is the best sand to use for house construction?
River sand has been most commonly used for the purpose of house construction but there are other better options and alternatives which can be used for the sake of better quality and sustainable construction practice.
Why Do We Need River Sand Alternative?
The natural sand which is available does not contain the fine particles in proper proportion as required. Presence of other impurities such as coal, bones, shells, mica and silt etc. makes it inferior for the use in Cement concrete.
The sand available in the river bed is very coarse and contains very large percentage of silt and clay. The silt and the clay presents in the sand reduce the strength of the concrete and results in bulking of sand when subjected to moisture.
According to IS code provisions the fines content in the sand below 600 microns should be about 30 to 50 %. At present it is generally observed that the fine content in river sand below 600 microns is very less.
The quality of sand collected from various places on river bed varies because of irregular gradation. For getting required fineness module the sand should be sieved and this affair is costly as it involves manpower and huge economy.
Due to dams constructed on every river the natural sand producing capacity has reduced to a considerable extent. Due to fast development of the country the consumption of the sand is also increased.
Sand mining has adverse effects on Environment and it is hazardous because the lung disease silicosis is caused by extended inhalation of the dust created by sand.
The best option in my opinion is Manufactured Sand also called m-sand because of following reasons:
One of the major demerits of river sand is that it is not properly graded. The Manufactured sand has proper gradation as it is automated. It has particles from 150 microns to 4.75 mm in proper proportion. When fine particles are in proper proportion, the sand will have fewer voids. The cement required will be less when there will be less void in sand. Such sand will be more economical.
Only sand manufactured by V.S.I. Crusher is cubical and angular in shape. Sand made by other types of machines is flaky, which is troublesome in working. Flaky particles increases voids over cubical or spherical particles about 5 to 6 percent more, and reduces the strength of concrete.
Recent tests have shown that a good quality concrete which is made from sand having cubicle particles, gives higher tensile strength. Same way rounded sand particles gives more compression strength to the concrete. So to achieve both the effect it is recommended that the sand particles should be cubicle with grounded edges and it is possible only in case of sand obtained though process automation.
The strength of Concrete increases with Artificial Sand. More over the presence of Fines in artificial sand increases the workability and gives more sound Concrete. The slabs, using Artificial sand, are more leak proof than by river sand.
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