Sand is a major component in concrete. Without sand, concrete won’t function as what it’s meant for. Its properties depend on the type and quantity of sand used to formulate the specific concrete mix. Usually, sand is used in a more substantial component than cement.
Cement, gravel or stones, sand, and water are the main components of concrete. Sand, which makes up 25 per cent of a wet concrete mixture, is called fine aggregate, and the gravel and larger stones are called coarse aggregate. With the presence of air bubbles formed in polished concrete due to special additives added to the mixture, air is considered a component of concrete.
In a concrete mixture, three-quarters of it are the total aggregate while the cement is approximately 10-15 per cent. Serving as the volume of the finished concrete is the coarse aggregate while filling the spaces between it is the sand. In its wet form, the cement then coats the pieces of aggregate as it dries and hardens, locking the sand and gravel and giving toughness to the concrete.
There are two classifications of sand used for concrete, the soft and sharp sand. The former has a smoother surface by the granules and is usually formed by erosion factors, such as in beaches through water movement. On the other hand, the latter has a rougher surface and is a result of crushing larger aggregate. The sand used in concrete must be clean so that the concrete product won’t have impurities, such as organic matter or silt, as these can weaken the concrete.
In large commercial projects and government projects such as road buildings, the aggregates used must meet the standards for cleanliness and size. Those that were labelled well-graded are the strongest type of concrete.
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