20 Dec 2021

Solutions to Sand Shortage by Puzzolana.

Solutions to Sand Shortage

As urbanization grows at an alarmingly fast pace, the natural sand from river beds is not sufficient to cater to its needs. As a solution to this, sand mining was opted for but this too is creating erosion and changing the routes of rivers and causing flooding of villages and towns. Environment protection teams have brought restrictions of natural sand mining in some states, while calling for a total ban in some others.

Natural sand creation

Nature is at its best every single day. Sand is produced naturally by the flowing of stones in big floods, especially during the rainy season right from the top of the mountains through waterfalls, forests and valleys, all the way to the big rivers. The collision of rock on rock creates a mechanism of ‘impact-cleavage-attrition-abrasion’. This results in the creation of huge deposits of super fine size particles and natural sand in thousands of years. The same process is repeated by crushing the big boulders into super fine aggregates, size below (-)4.75 mm with a specific gradation similar to the  natural sand as per BIS 383.

Hurdles in sand demand management

The imbalance in the supply and demand of natural sand, gave rise to the need to manufacture sand that is better than the natural variant as possible. A big hurdle of this however are the strict norms put in place for sand production, especially when it is required for high quality concrete procured for building skyscrapers, heavy structures in the highway bridges, railways, metro trains, dams and Hydro electric projects, to name a few.

This demand increased the focus by the manufacturing industry of crushing and screening plants and pushed them to think of innovative methods as better alternatives for the impure natural sand. This then gave rise to questions surrounding the quality of sand being manufactured, since it had to be used for tall buildings and so it had to be ensured that the quality and shape of the sand being produced is on the higher end.

Innovation is key

The solution to this was sought after by Puzzolana- who are known to be solution partners in the sector. The Sander and Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) innovated by Puzzolana, to produce the higher quality kind of sand originated from the issues faced by typical sand plants.

The plant works on the principle of continuous feed in a closed circuit. The main reason Puzzolana opted for VSI is that it works on the principle synonymous with the production of natural river sand. The VSI applies a similar principle of rock on rock collision for crushing. The rock on rock VSI uses a field proven rock lined rotor that acts as a high velocity pump hurling a continuous rock stream into a tightly packed rock lined crushing chamber.

The rotor continuously discharges highly energized stone particles into a highly turbulent particle cloud contained within the crushing chamber where reduction occurs primarily by rock on rock impact, attrition and abrasion. Thus the process is very synonymous to the natural process of creating sand. The VSI does not require water to produce the sand. No dust is generated into the atmosphere from the impactor. However, a little dust is generated from the vibrating screens and at discharge points that can be easily controlled by installing dust supression or simple water sprinklers.

The Puzzolana sander is a superfine cone crusher works on a floating shaft principle. The main advantage of this sander is that it works on a gyratory motion similar to a cone crusher and has a higher reduction ratio ensuring high productivity of sand at a low operating cost. The sander can be installed in any existing crushing plant as a standalone unit to produce sand. It eliminates the need of classification as the micro fines generated are within the permissible limits of IS 383 Zone II.   

It is an established fact that the manufactured sand can be effectively used in most construction activities. Also, the amount of water required to get the same level of workability, as in case of natural sands is low. The cement consumption can be reduced by about 5% as well. The quality of concrete is better and long lasting .

The need of the hour is to be able to practice processes which can be long lasting in order to achieve more productivity and better quality at low operating cost. Puzzolana’s sand producing methodology and equipment are the answer to this ever growing demand.

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