Quality of Sand

Quality of sand is as much of importance as other materials for concrete.

There are some useful tests that can be done in the field for checking the quality of sand utilized for construction. The following tests may be performed to determine the characteristics of sand.


1. Organic impurities test – this test is conducted at the field, for every 20 units or part thereof.

2. Silt content test – this is also a field test and to be conducted for every 20 units.

3. Particle size distribution – this test can be conducted at site or in laboratory for every 40 units of sand.

4. Bulking of sand – this test is conducted at site for every 20 units of sand. Based on bulking of sand, suitable water cement ratio is calculated for concrete at site.

But to save on resources and time Field tests are the best and outlined below


1. Take a glass and add some water in it.

2. Add a few amount of sand in the glass. At that point, shake it vivaciously and permit it to settle. If there is clay present in the sand, an apparent layer will be formed at the top level of sand.

3. Mix the sand into sodium hydroxide or caustic soda solution to distinguish the presence of organic impurities. If organic impurities are present in the sand, the color of the solution will be turned into brown.

4. Now take a squeeze of sand and taste it. If it is salty that means salt is present in the sand.

5. Take little amount of sand in the hand, and then rub it against the fingers. If the fingers are recolored it means sand consists of some earthy materials.

6. The color of sand describes the cleanness of sand. The size and sharpness might be examined by touching and watching visually.

 7. The sand may be examined by mechanical analysis to know its fineness, durability, void ratio etc.
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