If you need to buy sand to use on construction projects, then you can choose between natural or manufactured products. Natural sand is usually mined from water beds or underground pits; manufactured sand is made from crushed stones or rocks.
While natural sand might seem an obvious choice here, manufactured sand has additional benefits. What are they?
1. Better Shaping
Natural sand tends to be smooth and circular. Years of weathering and erosion typically create particles that are rounded and uniform.
This shape doesn't always perfectly suit construction work. For example, if the sand is too smooth, then it can't create a total bond with concrete. Plus, it might not have enough structural strength to work as a component in heavy construction support work.
Manufactured sand tends to have more angular and irregular shapes. It has a rougher surface and is stronger. It is better able to bond with concrete and other materials. It also works well in heavy construction situations. For example, it will help create stronger foundations than natural sand.
2. Less Moisture
If you are using sand as part of a construction mix, say if you are making concrete, then you have to factor moisture into the mix. While concrete needs some moisture, too much water in a mix will affect the way the concrete dries and cures. If a mix is too wet, then the concrete might fail.
Natural sand is harder to manage here. It often contains some moisture. However, its actual levels of moisture aren't necessarily measurable. The sand will seem dry, but it could release extra moisture into its concrete mix later.
Manufactured sand is easier to use in these mixes. It doesn't contain any moisture. So, you'll find it easier to calculate the components of a mix without adding too much water. Your finished concrete will be stronger and more stable.
3. Lower Costs
The fact that natural sand is a naturally occurring material doesn't mean that it is the cheapest option. Manufactured sand often costs less.
There isn't an infinite supply of natural sand. If it is in short supply, is hard to source, or has long-distance shipping, then its costs rise.
On the other hand, manufactured sand can be created in any quarry or manufacturing plant with the right equipment. Even if you factor in manufacturing costs, this sand is likely to be cheaper than natural alternatives.
Contact a sand supplier to learn more.