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Types of Sand


"How many types of sand are there?
Which types of sand should I use for Brick work?
Which types of sand should I use for plaster work?
Which types of sand should I use for concrete?"

There are a lot of confusion out there.

Okay. I'll try to clear the confusion in this post.

Types of Sand

Sand can be classified based on various criteria. Such as general criteria and engineering criteria.

Based on general criteria sand can be many types. For example, coral sand, black sand, gypsum sand, etc.

We'll ignore the general criteria. We will consider the types of sand from the engineering point of view.

From engineering point of view, sand can be classified based on various thing. I'll discuss them one by one below.

Types of Sand Based on Its Source


Types of sand

Sand can be natural or artificial. I'll discuss them throughly below -

  • Pit sand
  • River sand
  • Sea sand
  • Artificial sand

Pit Sand

This is a natural sand.

Source: Pit sand is collected from the ground by digging a pit. The pit's depth is about 1m - 2m from ground level.

Grain: Pit sand consists of  sharp, angular and rough grains. it is free from salt and organic materials. Because of the absence of salt in this sand it doesn't absorb moisture from atmosphere.

Sand Type: Pit sand is a coarse type sand (I'll discuss about coarse sand later in this post).

Color: Due to coating of a iron-oxide it shows red-orange color.

Uses: Due to its superior binding quality it is widely used in civil construction.

River Sand

River sand is also a natural sand.

Source: It is obtained from river bed or river bank.

Grain: This sand consists of fine rounded grains and It is well graded.

Sand Type: River sand is a fine type sand ( I'll discuss fine sand later in this post)

Color: It has white-grey color.

Uses: It is available in clean condition and can be widely used for all-purpose of construction activities like plastering and concreting.

Sea sand

Source: This type of sand is obtained from sea-shore.

Grain: It consists of rounded grains.

Sand Type: It is also a fine type sand.

Color: The color of sea sand is light-brown.

Uses: This type of sand is not normally used for construction work. Because it has salt which attracts the moisture from atmosphere and causes for dampness, efflorescence and disintegration of work. It should be throughly washed before using in construction.

Artificial Sand

It is an effective alternative to river sand. It is produced by crushing either basalt rock or granite. It is well graded and a coarse-type sand.

Types of Sand Based on sieve analysis


Types of sand

Based on sieve analysis sand can be divided into following three types -

  • Fine sand
  • Coarse sand
  • Gravelly sand


Fine Sand

Sand passing through the 1.5875 mm sieve is called fine sand. We use this sand for mainly plastering purpose.


Coarse Sand

The sand which is passing through the 3.175 mm sieve is called coarse sand. For masonry work we mostly used this type of sand.


Gravelly Sand

The sand which is passing through the 7.62 mm sieve is called gravelly sand. We generally use this type of sand in concrete.

Types of Sand Based on Their Purpose of Use


Types of Sand


Based on where to be used, sand can be classified as following -

  • Brick sand
  • Plaster sand
  • Concrete sand


Brick Sand

This sand is obviously used for brick work. The finest modulus of this sand should be 1.2 to 1.5 and should not contain more than 4% silt.


Plaster Sand

Obviously it is used for plastering work. The finest modulus should not be more than 1.5 and silt content should not be more than 4% in this type of sand.


Concrete Sand

For concreting purpose we generally use coarse sand. The finest modulus of this sand should be 2.5 to 3.5 and it should not contain more than 4% silt.

Types of Sand Based on Their Grain Size


Types of Sand

Based on the grain size of the sand it can be classified as following -


Very Fine Sand

If the grain size of the sand between 0.0625 mm to 0.125 mm then it is called very fine sand.


Fine Sand

The grain size of this type of sand is between 0.125mm to 0.25mm


Medium Sand

If the grain size of the sand between 0.25mm to 0.50mm that is the medium sand.


Coarse Sand

This type of sand's grain size is between 0.50mm to 1.0mm


Very Coarse Sand

The grain size of this type of sand is between 1.0 mm to 2.0 mm.


Conclusion
There are some other types of sand available in the construction sector such as landscaping sand, paving sand, etc. I didn't include them as the types of sand. Because they doesn't make any sense.

Your Turn
What do you think about landscaping sand, paving sand etc. Please share your opinion in comments below.

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