One of the common debate going around on construction proejcts is "Which is better M-Sand or River Sand".
A common misnomer is that river sand is always better as compared to manufactured sand, "this is wrong."
The simple answer to this is that "both" are as good and both give similar performance, in-fact M-Sand may be better as its quality is controlled in a manufacturing process, whereas naturally sourced River Sand may have different quality from differect sources and may be different in multiple batches.
This a simple note on clearing use cases for both type of sands.
Lets Compare River Sand with M-Sand
|Source||Sourced from River Banks, as fine rounded particles occurring due to natural erosion.||Manufactured in Stone Crusher Plants.|
|Grain Shape||Rounded texture with soft edges.||Angular texture with sharper edges.|
|Moisture Content||Moisture is present in between the particles which is good for concreting works.||Moisture is present only in double washed or cleaned M-Sand.|
|Strength||May be lesser as compared to M Sand.||Higher strength in concrete as compared to river sand.|
|Silt Presence||Silt content is present and any content above 3% is not good for quality of concrete. River Sand may have 3% to 20% silt content. So quality check is must||No Silt present in Manufactured Sand.|
|Size of Particles||2% to 6% of oversized particles can be expected including pebbles etc.||No chance of oversized particles as controlled process of manufacturing.|
|Other impurities||1 - 2% like shells, plantation, roots etc||0% as processed, cleaned and graded as per standards|
|Ecological Impact||Harmful to the environmental cause. Effect river ecology and disturbs balance where mined from.||Less harmful to environment as compared to River Sand|
|Quality & Adulteration Factors||There is high chance of mixing and adulteration in river sand. So strict quality check is must for supplies to check for silt quantity and other impurities||Lesser chances of adulteration as manufacturing plant based quality.|
|Particle passing 75 micron||Up to 3% (IS:383 - 1970)||Up to 15% (IS: 383 - 1970)|
|Quality Norm||Uncontrolled quality as it is a naturally occurring product. Same river bed source may have different silt content||Always better quality control since M-Sand is manufactured in a controlled environment.|
|Uses||Good for Plaster and Regular masonry Works. If quality is consistent and good then suitable for general concreting works.||Best recommended for RCC structures and precast brick/ block works.|
How you can use various admixtures to improve quality of mortar or concrete will shared soon ;-)
Product Specialist @TTA