Well, we all know about the complications related to sand mining, don’t we? Excessive erosion of sand-beds, flooding, illegal mafia drifts are all associated with this singular factor. But while on one hand Indian states claim to curb it, the impositions laid by bodies such as BIS or the Bureau of Indian Standards is making the usage of m-sand difficult. So, what does it say?
It enforces that concrete can only be made by natural materials. And thus, such regulations make it extremely difficult to think about alternate solutions which might, in reality, save the ecosystem. At this point, if we take countries such as the US into consideration, usage of recycled construction waste, copper slag and even powdered glass has paved its way in to save natural resources. Similar is the case with Singapore, and other European nations where infrastructure growth never seem to look downward.
M-sand does provide greater durability due to appropriate gradation, and consistency. But in most cases, mostly in India M-sand doesn’t qualify for plastering jobs. USA, UK and France are more concerned about the quality and performance of the job done. For achieving the desired skid resistance and durability, natural siliceous material is expected to be above 25%. In these countries, the criteria for the M-sand that would be used for concrete is defined, and sometimes also the level of MBV, or the Methylene Blue Value.
The constraints that the developed countries, including India, face regarding the usage of manufactured sand are the MBV results, the percentage of quartz, the appropriate blend of m-sand with its natural counterpart, and the permissible micron limits. Discussions, forums, and debates are being held worldwide not just to save natural sand, but also to make better, more acceptable alternate sources. Well, let’s hope such efforts bring about conservation of natural resources while delivering greater durability and strength to the building of the new age.