Silica Sand | Sources, Properties and 7 Uses of Silica Sand
Silica sand is a granular material and contains quartz and minute amounts of coal, clay and it has minerals in it sometimes.
Silica sand is the industrial sand and because of the influence of water and wind, quartz over time turns into Silica sand gradually.
When gradually it breaks into tiny granules you have to use it and this sand is actually a type of high purity quality Silica Sand products and it is not like common gravels and concrete.
Sources of Silica Sand:
SiO2 is the chemical sign of silica and it is actually the group of minerals which is a mixture of Oxygen and Silicon. This sand is often got in the crystalline state and because of weathering, plankton fossilization takes place and that results in crystallizing SiO2.
In most regions of the world, these are found as mines and it is obtained in high hardness. On the hardness ratio, silica ratio and chemical structure of mines, good silica sand crystal depends on it, and in the industry, this sand is mostly used as wet and dry.
These sand sources have a wide variety and in color, these are yellow, beige, and white.
Properties of Silica Sand:
The properties of silica include both physical and chemical properties like hardness, color, melting, and boiling point.
- Silica is a solid crystallized mineral under normal conditions of temperature and pressure and is relatively hard.
- Pure silica is colorless but it may be colored if contaminants are present in a sample of quartz.
- Silica has very high melting and boiling points as 3,110 °F and 4,046 °F.
- In order to make glass, it takes a big hot furnace to melt silica.
Uses of Silica Sand:
As a raw material in most of the construction industry, it is usually used and as dry and wet it can be used as both. Sometimes it is used in glass production and also used as filtration sand and molding sand.
There are several main uses of silica sand as given below;
- Metal Casting
- For Glassmaking
- Metal Production
- Paint and Coating
- Oil and Gas Recovery
- Filtration and Water Production
This sand is the most important part of the ferrous and nonferrous foundry industry and to achieve the external shape the clay is molded. Into the sand, metal parts are cast, and to produce new cores or molds, core sands can be mechanically recycled. For strength metal parts need SiO2.
The primary component is silica sand in glassmaking and it is used for all types of glass. This san has clear and strong chemical purity and without the help of this sand, glass making cannot be possible.
For automotive and building use, industrial sand is used for producing flat glass. For the production of fiberglass insulation silica sand is needed and also used in test tubes.
From silica sand, all those soap and dye productions are made and the main ingredients of chemicals are Sodium silicate, silicon tetrachloride, silicon gels. To produce household and industrial cleaners these chemicals are used.
Paint and Coating:
This sand is used to improve the appearance and durability of any kind of architectural and industrial paint and coatings and in properties like brightness and reflectance, color consistency and oil absorption high purity silica are able to contribute critical performances.
In architectural paints, it is also used and to improve tint retention, durability, and resistance to dirt, mildew, cracking, and weathering, silica fillers are able to do this. Increased pigment loading and improves finish color are always allowed by low oil absorption.
Silica Sand is the primary component for all those wide varieties of building and construction products and to add durability and anti-corrosion ground Silica works as a functional extender.
Whole grain silica sand is used in flooring compounds, mortar, cement, stucco, roofing shingles, and asphalt mixtures.
Oil and Gas Recovery:
In the oil industry silica sand is known as Frac Sand and the hardness of silica is important here. To attack in the corrosive environment the chemical purity in Frac Sand is able and grains deposit of Frac Sand is able to maximize formation cuttings.
Filtration and Water Production:
This sand is used for the filtration of drinking water, the processing of wastewater, the production of water from wells, and in deep water wells some time silica gravel is used as packing material.
For efficient filtration bed operations, grain size distributions are also very necessary.