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The Most Common Types of Sand in Construction

Sand Malaysia

Sand is one of the most important and high demanding building materials that can be used for various purposes and applications. It is commonly used to make bricks, concrete, block, mortar, casting molds, glass, and many other construction products. The main reasons behind its widespread usage are its inexpensive price and easy availability. And of course, it also does not contain any toxicity and is not susceptible to corrosion or degradation which has made it a popular choice for construction products. Sand can be obtained naturally from beaches, rivers, seas, or desserts. So the main ingredient of the sand is silica which is a naturally occurring material found in the Earth’s crust. As we know that, sand is one of the categories of aggregate that we have introduced in our previous article (Source: The aggregate less than 5mm in diameter is classified as sand. The smallest size of the sand can go down to 0.06mm in diameter.

Mixing sand with other materials in a correct proportion is very critical for creating the product we desired. When selecting the sand for our applications, we need to check the proportion of rocks and other impurities that existed in the sand as these factors can affect the sand quality and make it less stable or resistant. It is important for us the know the differences between many types of sand because each is used for certain jobs. Understanding the type and properties of the sand will help us to determine the best application of it. In this article, we will briefly discuss the most common types of sand that are normally used in construction and we will know what kind of sand should be used for what job at the end of this article.

Classification of Sand

According to the grain size of the particle, sand has a diameter size from 0.075mm to 0.425mm is classified as Fine sand, the size ranging from 0.425mm to 2mm is Medium sand, while the size from 2mm to 4.75mm is classified as Coarse sand. If classifying the sand by its origin, we have River sand, Sea sand, Pit sand, and manufactured sand. Sand also can be classified according to the shape of particles, color, structure, and texture of sand.

River Sand Malaysia
River Sand

7 Different Types of Sand

River Sand

River sand is known as natural sand, it is fine quality white-gray sand that is naturally obtained from streams and river banks. It is commonly used in concrete masonry works, plastering, and brickworks due to its lower cost and characteristics. This kind of sand has a smooth texture and is formed in a rounded shape. It requires less moisture as the water is already trapped inside the particles, making it soft and suitable for concrete or other block works.

Concrete Sand

Concrete sand is a type of coarse sand that is crushed in a quarry and filter several times to remove large fragments and rocks. It has angular granules and best matches with cement and water to reduce its coarseness. It is commonly used for constructing walking paths, patio, bedding pipes, or even act as filling material to fill up the spaces between coarse aggregates.

Pit Sand

Pit sand belongs to coarse sand that is sharp, rough, harsh, and angular. Its color is close to red-orange due to the existence of iron-oxide in it. Pit sand is usually be founded in 2 to 3 meters below the underground with deep-enough pits. Due to this reason, pit sand is free from salt and other impurities that eliminate the chances of moisture absorption and efflorescence when used in construction. Pit sand is best used for making concrete because of its superior binding property that can create a strong and rigid bonding surface for the building.

Types of Sand Malaysia

Utility Sand

Utility sand is a kind of artificial sand made from high-quality industrial quartz. It can provide superior mechanical properties due to its uniform grain sizes and shapes. It contains natural minerals that provide high stability and durability to the building and is widely used as the base material for concrete. In addition, utility sand is non-reactive to atmospheric moisture and so very suitable to be used in corrosive environments.

Silica Sand

Silica sand is also referred to as quartz sand, white sand, or industrial sand. It is made of quartz that has been undergone breakdown by wind and water for thousands of years. There are two main ingredients inside the silica sand, which are silica and oxygen. Silica is another name of silicon dioxide, SiO2. Sand to be classified as silica sand must contain at least 95% of silicon dioxide and less than 0.6% of iron oxide. Silica sand is commonly used for commercial and industrial applications due to its useful properties. It possesses a high melting point and low thermal expansion coefficient which has made it suitable for high-temperature applications. The most popular applications of silica sand are glass, sport fields, bricks, coatings, roofing shingles, flooring, high-grade concrete, etc.

Silica Sand Malaysia
Silica Sand

Fill Sand

Fill sand is a combination of the fine particles of sand and aggregates. It can be used for several construction purposes and is mainly used for filling. Due to its impressive compaction rating, it is often to be used as a base material when filling large holes, laying concrete, paving, or as a backfill for septic tanks to solve drainage issues.

Manufacture Sand

Manufacture sand is also known as M-Sand. It is made in the factory by blasting and crushing granite. The purpose of the manufacture sand is to create an economical and ecological alternative to the natural sand or river sand. It is manufactured in a way that eliminates impurities, oversized materials, and other construction defects. This type of sand is cost-effective, possesses higher tensile strength, and provide a better durability to the concrete.

MecHero Malaysia supplies quality sand for a wide range of products and construction applications. You can always contact us at +6011-7000 7687 or email us at for an inquiry about the sand supplies in Malaysia. As a steel and online hardware store in Malaysia, we also supply a wide range of steel materials, general hardware, or mechanical components. Tell us your requirements now and we can advise you accordingly.

Sand Supplier Malaysia

Photo credit: Media from wix, homes247, indexbox, glmsod

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