Manufactured Sand / M-Sand
Sand is a vital ingredient for making concrete mortar. The in-discriminating mining of sand from river bed is threatening the environment which necessitates an alternative to river sand. Manufactured sand or M-Sand, as it is popularly known, is an effective, Eco-friendly and economical alternative to river sand. Due to its ready availability and reliable strength, M-Sand has become popular for use in construction. Thereby to save the topsoil of the locality, use M-Sand for construction.
The process consists of 3 stages
- a) Crushing: Hard stones are crushed in Vertical Shaft Impact crusher where cubical and angular fine aggregate particles are produced.
- b) Screening: The process of screening helps in the proper grading of the material to make it similar to river sand.
- c) Washing: The microfine particles are removed by washing. This M-Sand is vastly different from that of crusher dust. Additionally, in the washing process, both fine aggregates for concrete and plaster sand can be generated.
Comparison of River Sand and M-Sand
|Properties||River Sand||Manufactured Sand or M-Sand||Advantages|
|Shape||Spherical particle||Cubical particle||Higher cohesion and compressive strength|
|Gradation||Cannot be controlled||Can be controlled||Reduction in voids and Higher strength|
|Marine Products||1 - 2% lie grass, clay lumps, tree barks etc||0%||Not necessary to clean the sand before usage in the construction time|
|Clay and Organic Impurities||Likely to be present (Retard the setting & compressive strength)||Absent||Better Concrete Quality|
|Grading Zone (IS 383)||Likely to be present (Retard the setting & compressive strength)||Manufactured to conform Zone 2||Zone 2 ideal for concrete|
M-Sand of different grades is preferred for different types of work in the construction of a building:
M-Sand for concreting
a) Used as a fine aggregate: This sand is classified under Zone II, has granule thickness of 150 microns above 4.75 mm, suitable for concreting, wall masonry work, block work much more.
Price: Ranging from Rs. 850 - Rs. 1,100 /per ton (1 ton = 21.5 CFT)
b) Used as an aggregate: Granule thickness of 8 mm - 13 mm, and
13 mm - 21 mm is suitable only for concreting.
Price: Ranging from Rs. 650 - Rs. 750 /per ton (1 ton = 23 CFT)
M-Sand for plastering
Used as a fine aggregate: This sand is classified under Zone III, has a granule thickness of 150 microns above 2.38 mm, is suitable for brickworks, outer inner plastering purposes, ceiling plastering, and much more.
Price: Ranging from Rs. 1,400 - Rs. 1,650 /per ton (1 ton = 21.5 CFT)
PCC bottom or road work
Used as an aggregate: Granule thickness of 25 mm - 45 mm.
Price: Ranging from Rs. 650 - Rs. 750 /per ton (1 ton = 27 CFT )
Advantages of M-Sand
- a) Consistent Supply: M-Sand can be produced in areas closer to construction sites, bringing down the cost of transportation and providing an assurance of consistent supply.
- b) Lesser impurities and good working properties’ Msand and is free of silt and clay particles, and has denser particle packing than natural sand.
- c) Excellent Strength: Compared to river sand, M-Sand has a higher compressive strength, higher flexural strength, better damage resistance, better water retentivity, higher unit weight, and lower permeability as well.
- d) Better work-ability: The cubical shape with a rounded edge and superior gradation of M-Sand gives good plasticity to mortar, providing excellent workability.
- e) Eco-friendly alternative: Usage of M-Sand prevents dredging of river beds to get river sand which may lead to environmental disaster like groundwater depletion, water scarcity, a threat to the safety of bridges, dams etc. M-Sands is an Eco-friendly alternative to river sand.
- f) Economy: Since the usage of M-Sand has increased durability, workability, higher strength, decreased post- concrete defects, reduction in segregation and permeability, it proves to be economical as a construction material replacing river sand.
- a) Moisture Content: Moisture is available only in water washed M-Sand. Whereas, river sand has moisture which is trapped in between the particles which are good for concreting purpose.
- b) A larger proportion of micro fines: M-Sand may contain larger amounts of microfine particles than natural sand, owing to its production process. Quarry dust is one of the micro fines present in the M-Sand, which is residue dust formed during the stone crushing. Chances of developing early cracks and weakening are more as it is devoid of required grades and not undergone adequate cleaning. This can affect the strength and workability of the screed or concrete.
- c) Adulteration: Due to the high demand, M-Sand is now being adulterated with quarry dust.
Disadvantages of M-Sand: None
Solution: Buy pure M-Sand to avoid all these myths. To ensure the M-Sand is fit for purpose, it should be put through a series of quality tests such as:
- a) Adulteration test
- b) Work-ability test
- c) Rebound test
- d) Slump cone test