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What is Sand?

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Sand is considered as a mixture of small and fine grains of various materials or minerals and rocks. It is a granular material that can be defined as per a size ranging between 0.06mm to 2mm. It can be formed because of erosional or weathering activities, sediments, etc. The major component of sand is quartz and other components found in sand depend upon the location and geographical features where it is being found.


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Types of Sand

There is no official classification of sand but we can divide it into the following:

On the Basis of Colour

  • White sand contains limestone mainly but also can contain magnetite, chlorite, glauconite, etc. and it is white in colour.

  • Black sand is black in colour and formed because of volcanic eruptions and its material like lava.

  • Pink Sand is actually reddish-pink and this colour is formed because of the foraminifera microorganism and also contains corals, shells, and calcium.

  • Red-orange sand has this kind of colour because of the presence of iron oxide.

  • White Grey sand is sand that is white-grey in colour and contains fine rounded grains.

  • Light Brown Sand is light brown in colour because of the presence of the rounded grains.

On the Basis of Size

  • Fine sand is the sand that can be passed through the 16 no. sieve and is used for plastering works.

  • Moderate Coarse sand is the sand that can be passed through 8 no. sieve and used for mortar and masonry works.

  • Coarse sand is a kind of sand which is used in concrete works and can be passed through 4 no. sieve.

On the Basis of Other Factors

  • Coral Sand is light-coloured sand found in the coral reefs. It is formed because of the erosion or skeletal material of the marine organisms. For example, it can be found in Polynesia, the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, the Caribbean, the Red sea, etc.

  • Glass sand is a type of sand whose chief component is silicon dioxide and it works as a source of silica for glass and chemical industries as well. It is also used in other works as well such as water purification and filtration, road and concrete works, etc.

  • Gypsum sand is a type of sand whose main component is Gypsum i.e calcium sulfate dihydrate. It is considered a rare component in the sand that is soluble in water. For example, a large dune field of sand is found in Mexico because it doesn't have a very wet climate.

  • Ooid sand is a type of sand that contains rounded sedimentary grains. It also has calcium carbonate. Ooids are small rounded bodies full of minerals. 

  • Pit sand is a kind of sand that is sharp, angular, and porous and found in pits of the soil and used for mortars. It does not have harmful substances and fine pit sand never leaves a stain on hands when rubbed. 

  • River sand is a kind of sand that is generally found and polished due to the rubbing process of ocean currents and it is found in river beds and banks. It is desirable for plastering works and suitable for all civil engineering works and constructions.

  • Sea sand is also similar to river sand which is fine, rounded, and polished because of the rubbing process of ocean currents and it is found in the seashores. It is light brown in colour and has salt. It is not used for construction purposes and also not or less desirable for civil engineering works.

  • Green Sand is a kind of sand that contains some greenish materials.

  • Desert sand is a type of sand that is found in deserts. Sand dunes can be easily seen in the desert region for example in the Thar desert.

  • Lithic sand is a type of sand that contains small rocks and fragments of rocks.

  • Mixed Carbonate Silicate sand is a type of sand that is a mixture of organic and inorganic sand grains.

  • Biogenic Sand is a kind of sand that contains tiny particles of skeletal material, seashells, and corals, etc.

  • Garnet sand is a type of sand that contains garnet which is a mineral as its major component.

  • Olivine sand is a type of unstable land which is generally used for steel casting works.

  • Volcanic sand is a kind of sand that is found in the regions of volcanic eruptions and it is dark in colour. 

  • Heavy mineral sand is sand that consists of molecules of high mass and it is used for forming stable structures.

  • Continental sand is a type of sand that is generally found on continental beaches and light brown in colour in which some dark grains sparkled.

  • Sand with Hematitic pigment is a kind of sand that has a reddish mineral called Hematite as its major component.

Construction Sand

Sand is one of the major materials which is used for the construction of buildings and other construction activities. Different types of sand are used for construction purposes which provides strength and other components for building purposes. The following sands are considered as construction sand:

  • Concrete sand is a type of coarse sand that is formed by the crushing of concrete. After crushing, it is filtered to remove the large fragments of rocks.

  • Pit sand is also a kind of coarse sand that is found in the deep pits of the land and has superior binding properties which as most appropriate for construction purposes.

  • River sand is a fine quality of construction sand that is found near rivers and in river beds or banks. It needs to check before using it in construction that it must contain silica below 5%.

  • M- sand is a type of sand that is used for construction and it is called Manufactured Sand because it is manufactured in the factories by crushing hard materials.

  • Utility sand is a type of sand that is produced from high-quality industrial quartz and has uniform grain shapes which are used for construction purposes.

  • Fill sand is a kind of sand that is used for filling purposes and is generally a mixture of a number of materials and used as a base of the construction site.

Here, we have learned about sand and its related concept. We have classified the sand on the basis of its colour, size, and other features. Referring to the information provided here will help you to understand one of the important geographical features and will help you in your studies and increase your knowledge for sure.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Types of Sand on the Basis of the Size?

Answer. We can classify the sand on the basis of its size. It is generally ranged between 0.06mm to 2mm. Fine sand is the sand that can be passed through the 16 no. sieve and is used for plastering works. Moderate Coarse sand is the sand that can be passed through 8 no. sieve and used in mortar and masonry works. Coarse sand can be passed through 4 no. sieve and is used in concrete works.

2. What Do You Mean By Sand? What Kind of Sand is Used For Construction Purposes?

Answer. Sand is a mixture of small, fine grains of various minerals, materials or rocks. Sand can be formed because of erosional activities, weathering of sediments, etc. The main component of sand is quartz while other components found in sand depend upon geographical features of the location where it is being found. For construction purposes, concrete sand, pit sand, fill sand, utility sand, river sand, m-sand, etc, are used.