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Manufactured Sand - A Perspective



Evolution of Fine Aggregate Industry in India

The attempts to produce crushed or manufactured sand in India could be traced to early 50's primarily in major dam works. The focus was on using different size reduction techniques with available resources like rod mills, roller -crushers, and cone crushers.

The absence of research in the reputed Civil Engineering Institutions about manufactured sand aided a lot of unscrupulous quarry operators to perpetuate the myth that quarry dust can be used in production of concrete either by complete or partial replacement of river sand.

Early sources of fine & coarse aggregates (20mm and 10mm):

  • The river sand, pebbles and gravel sourced from river beds were used as fine and coarse aggregates.
  • The insufficient quantities and inconsistent quality forced the construction industry to explore the possibility of sizing down the locally available rock formations using the crushers to produce coarse aggregates of 20mm and 10mm.
  • The type of machinery used was single stage crushers and later upgraded to two stage crushers.
  • The waste product generated in the process is quarry dust which was being given free in the early days is being offered today as a replacement for river sand.

Emergence of Manufactured Sand

The progress in the building material research and identification of role of particle shape and gradation of fine aggregates triggered the use of manufactured sand in the production of concrete. The complexity of construction and use of high strength concrete in large number of buildings is the prime mover along with the scarcity of river sand in many cities.