Eco Sand has multiple uses – in concrete, for plastering and in mortar

Realty is turning to alternative sources of construction materials. It is not dependent on river sand completely any more. During recent years, several manufactured sand plants have come up that crush rock boulders to sand granules.

With problems in availability of river sand, use of manufactured sand is on the rise.

ACC Limited, which has a cement factory at Madukkarai, launched ACC Eco Sand in 2009. This is another variant of sand, but the source is limestone taken from the hills. Cement factories need pure limestone to manufacture cement.

R. Manikandan, its head for customer support service (South and West Region), spoke to The Hindu Habitat on Eco Sand.

He said the limestone sourced from the hills near Madukkarai had 40 per cent to 50 per cent impurities. It was crushed to granules of thickness less than 600 micron and processed using water and chemicals (froth floatation process). The by-product could be used as an alternative to or blended with river sand or manufactured sand. Eco Sand could be used in concrete, for plastering and in mortar.

Since the sand is very fine and has minimum 15 per cent moisture, the users should follow the suggested mixing sequence. It can replace river sand or manufactured sand by up to 50 per cent in concrete. In the case of plastering, this would be 80 per cent.

Eco Sand can also be used in ready-mix concrete. It is used mostly in individual houses, to make high-strength concrete and for industrial applications.

The company is also studying the possibility of using Eco Sand in manufacture of fly-ash bricks. It can be used in the pre-cast industry, concrete bricks, manholes, wall beams, and paver blocks.