THE IMPORTANCE OF SAND FOR CONSTRUCTION
Sand is actually one of the most commonly used construction materials around the world. Its versatility can be seen implemented as a component within concrete and cement, in addition to filling for different spaces such as holes in walls and crawl space areas of a home or layers below surface floors. Sand is present everywhere and although you may not be aware of it, it is part of a wide variety of everyday glass objects, in the pavement that we walk on or the walls of houses and offices that we live and work in. The following is a list of different uses and applications of sand:
Characteristics and practical uses
One of the most common characteristics of sand is that it can be easily compressed, which makes it an ideal option for reinforcing walls and cementing certain types of ground or flooring. However, it is important to mention that when mixed in large amounts, sand may become too heavy, which may result in a less stable and resistant end result.
Likewise, within the construction industry, sand is most commonly used to make mixes with cement or lime and water. When these materials mix together they make up mortar. For most cases, the quality of the cement depends mainly on the type of sand that is added to the mix.
Beach Sand: Not recommended for construction use
Sand originating from beaches or rivers is not recommended for use in the construction industry to be mixed with other materials because it contains numerous other debris that may me complicated or on occasion impossible to remove from the mix. When the sand is extracted from the beach, it also brings with it pieces of rock, shells or fragments of salt or other minerals found on the ocean shore. All of this means that if beach sand were combined with other materials it may lead to negative construction results making the base or concrete weaker, taking longer to dry out and ultimately less resistant.
Benefits of applying sand
When cement, sand and water are mixed together they form mortar, which is created to increase both the resistance and flexibility of the material. This all depends on the amount of sand that is added to the corresponding mix. This makes sand a necessary element within the construction process as it provides a number of benefits for concrete. Included in those benefits is that when the mix is blended well it avoids cracks when dried and hardened. It also helps to join construction elements more effectively as its better drying process helps bricks to fuse together better and become sturdier.
Recommendations for handling
There are many different types of sands that can be utilized in mixtures, but the most recommended type is that which is made of fine grain and originates from the quarries. However, sand that is previously mixed with clay are not effective for construction because it may impede the final result and correctly mixing with the cement.
In addition to the type of sand, it is also important to keep the humidity in mind when carrying out a construction project with sand. The reason is that the sand used in these cases contains a certain amount of moisture and should be stored in a place where it does not lose its natural properties.
Last but not least, it is essential to control the amount of sand worked with when making the mix. If a more than necessary amount is used for the mix, the mortar will become less resistant and lose its durability.
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