The sand is an inevitable material in construction which is used in almost every activity such as concrete, plastering, PCC, backfilling, earth embankment & many other works. 

The river sand naturally deposits in the riverbank, formed over many decades from the rock disintegrated and deposits on the river banks. 

brown-sand

However, Due to the fast-growing urbanization, usage of river sand has rapidly increased over the past decade, but at the same time, that much of river sand is not available to supply.  

Over-excavation of sand also leads to drying of groundwater in and around the particular areas, and it is very harmful to the environment.

Due to the non-availability of river sand & environmental impact, the usage of M sand in the construction industry started increasing day by day. In Fact utilization of M sand in construction is appreciated because it is eco-friendly.

What is Manufactured Sand?

The M sand is manufactured by crushing the quarry stones into required grain size & after washing, grading the crushed cubical shape with rounded edges, it turned as a construction material.

It is also known as Manufactured Sand. 

How is M sand made? (Source) 

As you know the sources of aggregates are igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks & metamorphic rocks which we discussed in the classification of aggregates topic.

Sources of Aggregates

The hard rocks that are obtained from the above process will be involved in the following process.

M Sand Manufacturing Process

M Sand Manufacturing Process

  • The hard rocks are blasted into medium-sized stones, and those stones are transported to the plant.
  • Then the stones are washed and cleaned from dust & other impurities.
  • The cleaned stones are placed into the primary crusher to crush the rocks into 40mm aggregates.
  • After that, the 40mm aggregates are passed to the secondary crusher, which makes the 40mm aggregates into 20mm and below.
  • Now the aggregates are screened and if found oversized aggregates again those aggregates are involved in crushing.
  • After 1st stage screening, the aggregates are passed into a vertical shaft impactor to crush the aggregates into a cubical shape which is further reduced into below 4.75mm.
  • Again it is passed through VSI if found oversized particles after second stage screening.
  • Finally, the sand was washed and above 150micorns particles automatically removed from the screening process and ready to use in construction.

M Sand Properties

  • Environmental Friendly – Since it has been manufactured artificially from the rock particles, it is less harmful to the environment compared to river sand.
  • Quality of material – The quality of the sand can be controlled during its manufacturing process so the particles are well balanced in quality.
  • Shape – The m sand having cubical shape & grounded edges.
  • Workability – Due to its shape & rough texture, it affects the workability of concrete.
  • Strength – The concrete strength is very high in m sand compared to river sand used in concrete. Because it is manufactured from the rock stones, it will have good compressive strength.
  • Quality of concrete – We mostly experience concrete bleeding & segregation, which will lead to concrete crazing while pouring the concrete & Shrinkage. Also, honeycomb formation happens after the concrete hardens. Those quality issues will not occur when using the M sand in concrete.
  • Impurities – The M sand does not contain the silt particles or other marine impurities like mica, silica, which affect the quality of concrete. 

Is M sand suitable for construction?

Obviously Yes.

The M Sand is no difference from river sand comparing quality and strength. Also sources. The only difference is that it is made artificially. 

The M sand is perfect for construction, and it is classified into three types based on its construction activity.

Types of M sand

  • M sand for concrete – The particle size above 4.75 mm will be used only for concrete as per IS code 383.
  • P Sand – This type of sand is mainly used for plastering work in which particle sizes are less than 2.3 mm as per IS code 1542. It is also called P sand (Plastering sand).
  • M sand for Brick Work – The brick or block masonry shall be laid by m sand which particle sizes are 3.5 mm as per IS code 2116.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Economically available material
  • High Strength
  • No presence of silt and other marine particles
  • No oversized particles.
  • Quality can be controlled.
  • It is available in three types which can be used for all construction works.

Drawbacks of M Sand

  • Easy to adulteration
  • Low workability due to its shape & rough texture.
  • No moisture content unless washed by water.

Hope you enjoyed the topic. Happy Learning 🙂

Author

Bala is a Civil Engineer who has more than 9+ Years of experience in planning & costing in Infrastructure. He is the author, editor and partner at Civil Planets.

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