The Many Uses of Sand

24 Aug The Many Uses of Sand

Summer is the best time to head to a sandy beach.  Walking barefoot on the sand at the water edge, helps to relieve stress.  But have you ever thought about the sand itself?  What is it made of and what can it be used for other than providing a base for the ocean waves?  Lets take a look at the many uses of sand.

Where does sand come from?

We find sand all over the place.  On creek beds, flood plains and of course coast lines.  The composition of sand is diverse and is made mostly of silica, a common element in the earth.  However, sand can also come from other minerals such as quartz, limestone, or gypsum found in places like White Sands, New Mexico.

Industrial uses of Sand

Industrial grade sand containing silica is used to make glass for the automobile industry, food industry, and even household products for the kitchen.  Ground up silica is used to make fiberglass insulation and can also be used for other types of specialty glass like test tubes, fluorescent lights, television screens, and computer monitors.

There are many commercial uses for sand and this sand comes from quarries.  Sand is commonly used in agriculture, landscape and building materials, including concrete.  Sand is used in aquariums, creating artificial reefs, and in man-made beaches.  It’s hard to imagine that beach sand could be imported. Sand plays an important part in flood zones by filling burlap sacks to try to hold back the water.

When roads get slippery, sand helps to provide traction for tires.  Manufacturers use sand to cast parts, etching, and for sandblasting.  The most common use for sand is in the manufacture of silicon computer chips.

Sand has been used widely in the construction industry for many hundreds of years.  Romans produced building tiles out of sand.  Tile manufacturing companies have mixed sand and lime together to make a special brick to use as a building material. Silica rich sand is also exported to major cement manufacturers.

There are so many different uses for sand, from leisure activities to commercial uses; the list gets longer every day.  Commercial grade sand is also used in water filtration and has even been used to line animal enclosures at the zoo.

Backyard uses of Sand

Not only does sand have so many commercial uses, it is an inexpensive way to make play areas safer.  This can be accomplished by spreading a layer of sand about a foot deep under swings, slides, trampolines, and any other area where safety is an issue.

If you spill a thick liquid, whether it’s greasy, slippery, or just messy, sprinkle some sand on it.  The mess will solidify and can then be swept up.  Sand also works on oil spills in the driveway or garage.  Sprinkle sand onto the spill, allow it to set, and then sweep up the mess.  If you like to barbecue on a charcoal grill, keep a small bucket or other container of sand handy to put out flames.

Sand in Design

Sand can be used to create texture in painted walls or furniture.  All that is needed is about 4-5 cups of sand mixed into each gallon of paint that you want to add texture to.  If you have a smaller project, you can add about ¾ cup of sand for every 2 cups of paint.  To give a finished piece of furniture a rustic, distressed look, scrub with a mixture of 2 parts sand to 1 part water.  Not only will this mixture create an interesting effect on wooden furniture, but it can be used to create nonskid stair treads. The treads can then be painted with regular paint.

Bulk Sand

Obviously an aggregate supplier like Same Day Aggregates is not required for the backyard and decor project.  Those who build homes, roads and bridges have trust SDA for the bulk delivery of aggregates of all types – including sand.  Contact us today to learn more about your aggregate options.