Some useful tests to verify the quality of sand in the construction site

Sand is considered as one of the most vital construction materials that are utilized in plastering, concreting, brick work and stone masonry.

Sand is one of the prime materials of mortar & concrete. In concrete, sand is mainly used to fulfill the vacuums among course aggregates.

Sand is also termed as fine aggregate where the size of aggregate varies among 75 microns to 4.77 mm. There are various types of sands in construction which range from river sand, sea sand and pit sand. River sand is extensively applied in cement mortar and concrete works.

Given below, some useful test methods to check the quality of sand at the construction site:-

  • Clay content test
  • Organic impurities test
  • Silt Test
  • Salt Test
  • Earth matters

1) Clay Test

The existence of clay in sand may impact the actual compressive strength of concrete. To find out the clay in sand, the following test is carried out:-

Choose a glass bottle that is filled with sands and then mix some water in it. Then shake it for nearly 10 minutes and wait until it settles. If the clay exists in sand, it will develop layer at the water surface. It will ensure the quality of the sand is substandard.

In another method, choose some amount of wet sand in your hand then drop it. With the existence of clay in sand, it creates cohesion in the hand.

2) Existence of organic stains in sand

To detect the organic stains in sand, choose some amount of sand and include sodium hydroxide with it. Shake the solution for near about 1 minute. If the colour of the mix transforms to brown, then organic stains are present in sand.

3) Silt content test

Select a glass bottle put some amount of sand and water along with salt into the bottle. Shake it well and leave it for being settled for 10 hours. With the existence of silt in sand, a layer will be formed over the sand layer.

4) Test of salt

It is the easiest method. Just select small amount of sand and taste it with your tongue. With the existence of salt in sand, the taste will be salty.

5) Earthy matter

To verify the existence of earthy matters in sand at the construction site, the following test is undertaken:-

Take some amount of sand in your one hand and rub it with other hand. Then take out the sand from your hand. If there are light marks in your hand, the earthy matters exist in sand.

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Sand Test