TheDictator

How to source sand for a IAVs system

14 posts in this topic

Seems to be a hot topic.. So how do you get the right sand for these systems? For a system developed for third world countries it seems that getting the exact right sand is the biggest obstacle?

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Thanks for this write-up..very informative. Recently a new company is distributing a sand called Ecosand. I have asked for a sample.

I have four other sandsamples being tested..jfyi.

Here is a news on Ecosand I just found after reading this article.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/can-silica-sand-work-a-magic-in-construction/article1490014.ece

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6 hours ago, bcotton said:

My cousin works at a golf course here in dallas. He referred me to "a guy" that has really good compost for my raised beds. But it turns out "a guy"'s bread and butter is golf course sand. So when i go to get my compost in a couple of weeks, i will grab a sample of his very course silica sand. and test it out. He said it has almost no silt or fines. he said it usually scores PH at the 5.5-6 range but he thinks that is just because it is acid washed and believes that is probably the only reason it tests that low. 

Looking at the particle size evaluation it looks like 90% of the sand is in the medium and course categories. .25mm and .5mm. with <1" silt or clay with the other 10% very coruse or fine. This is pretty good, no? any concerns?

I left a spot in my yard to experiment with IAVS once i get my other projects under control. It wasnt at the front of my mind because other people in the dallas and east texas area seemed to have to make more compromised on their sand attributes than i really wanted. If this works out i may move up my iavs project timeline to this upcoming spring

Hi Brian, I read your post with interest.  It is amazing that people still have significant difficulty in choosing their sand.

This sand you got should work very well based on my experience/findings. I assume it is <1% silt or clay.  What did you mean by  "with the other 10% very coarse or fine"?  If you have 10% fines in them, then I would anticipate issues with regard to its differential settling/sorting, porosity, and/or hydraulics.  I would also particularly look into its shape and do other tests before finalizing.  Looking forward to your stories.

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yah, there shouldnt be detectable silt or clay.

the chart i saw was ~3.x% very course and ~6.x% fine

 

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and i dont think the issue has been not able to find the sand.. you can get exactly what you want if you are willing to buy 25+ cy at a time.. But when you only need 4 or 5 yards... you are restricted to what is popular enough for resellers to carry

 

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Hi TD,

I have spent several hours both on the phone and travelling around Adelaide to different supply places and have yet to find a suitable sand I am confident will do the job.

Here in Adelaide, South Australia I have rung up Hansen and explained what I want, they have directed me to several different places. I couldn't just rock up at their quarries with my trailer as they are not allowed to load domestic trailers for some silly safety (probably insurance liability) reason. They however, have been most helpful in ringing a couple of different places to ask if they will sell me the sand I have asked for.

I have physically been to quite a few landscape, garden and building supply places, looked around held and rubbed the sand in my hands and fingers and looked at the sand... I find washed concrete sand, no worries, but it certainly looks way to yellow and orange for my liking...So far, the closest thing I come close to, is a "sweeping sand" which is way to fine. They keep it in a hopper and it is dried...About $119.00 per tonne. which is still expensive but streaks ahead of the bulka bag prices from another place I checked out. I want to avoid giving up my several male children for the sand if I can.

The thing that I find difficult to fathom is to figure out a simple way third world countries can have the correct sand...Maybe, in some places it just can't be done so getting the closest region dependent, easiest available appropriate sand would be the go and just keep replacing it when it clogs, or whatever...Please do not get me wrong... I still think the appropriately laid out tests are a must to minimise immediate failure, so I still think the 5 tests are important. Anyway...Getting back to my quest, The next stop for me is checking out Golf course supplies, and foundry supplies.Sheesh, I envy you people who get it right the first time...Once and if I find the right sand at a suitable price I will let people know to try and save them the bother.

Cheers.

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On ‎12‎/‎2‎/‎2016 at 9:01 PM, bigdaddy said:

Hi TD,

I have spent several hours both on the phone and travelling around Adelaide to different supply places and have yet to find a suitable sand I am confident will do the job.

Here in Adelaide, South Australia I have rung up Hansen and explained what I want, they have directed me to several different places. I couldn't just rock up at their quarries with my trailer as they are not allowed to load domestic trailers for some silly safety (probably insurance liability) reason. They however, have been most helpful in ringing a couple of different places to ask if they will sell me the sand I have asked for.

I have physically been to quite a few landscape, garden and building supply places, looked around held and rubbed the sand in my hands and fingers and looked at the sand... I find washed concrete sand, no worries, but it certainly looks way to yellow and orange for my liking...So far, the closest thing I come close to, is a "sweeping sand" which is way to fine. They keep it in a hopper and it is dried...About $119.00 per tonne. which is still expensive but streaks ahead of the bulka bag prices from another place I checked out. I want to avoid giving up my several male children for the sand if I can.

The thing that I find difficult to fathom is to figure out a simple way third world countries can have the correct sand...Maybe, in some places it just can't be done so getting the closest region dependent, easiest available appropriate sand would be the go and just keep replacing it when it clogs, or whatever...Please do not get me wrong... I still think the appropriately laid out tests are a must to minimise immediate failure, so I still think the 5 tests are important. Anyway...Getting back to my quest, The next stop for me is checking out Golf course supplies, and foundry supplies.Sheesh, I envy you people who get it right the first time...Once and if I find the right sand at a suitable price I will let people know to try and save them the bother.

Cheers.

BigDaddy

You may be asking your suppliers the wrong question, as referring to ASTM for the correct sand.

ASTM does mean "American Society for Testing and Materials" but it is also used for International standards also. And AU has their own standards "AS 2758.1 Concrete Aggregates"

There are only 8 good locations in AU for procuring Concrete Sand in bulk, but don't worry, AU and many other countries are making their own Concrete Sand from other select rocks.

"Between 2004 and 2006 the physical properties of 21 manufactured sands that are commercially available in Australia were examined. From this work, a specification of properties of manufactured sand was developed and submitted to Standards Australia for inclusion in AS 2758.1 Concrete Aggregates."

Some posts made by senior members on this forum, advise newer members to keep away from procuring their sands from rivers, lakes, lagoons or dunes. But at the same time, they don't even know were their sands are procured from.

"Throughout this guide, the term ‘natural sand’ is used to identify the material traditionally recovered from geologically recent deposits of sand-sized materials. Typically these deposits are from Quaternary deposits in streams, rivers, estuaries, lakes, lagoons or dunes.

 For instance the Brisbane market draws from the Morton Bay deposits while Sydney’s current sources are from the Kurnell dunes or from flood plain deposits on the Nepean River."

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Hi OP,

I understand what you are saying by quoting the Amercian Standard

Actually, I have only done that once and that was after the conversation had been in progress for quite some time. As you and others have been saying It's best not to get to technical. Ha, when I did, his eyes glazed over and rolled into the back of his head. He didn't know what I was talking about.

My initial question would go along the lines of do you have any very coarse quartz silica sand about 1mm with no clay in it?

Then I would say it needs to be sharp and if they point me to bags, I ask if they have it in bulk..

Then the question would normally come back to me. What are you using it for? and I tell them it's for a large bio filter. Surprisingly 8 or 9 times out of ten, when I tell them that, they kind of understand what what I want and often say something like we have some other product here but it wouldn't be what you want, it has a lot of fines in it. I still haven't found the right sand yet, although someone said they will make a phone call today and see what they can do for me. I am still yet to get to the stage of doing the testing, I'm happy to persevere until I can feel the sand and feel comfortable I have a good chance of succeeding in my testing of the sand. Then I will take some samples home and even purchase a couple of buckets of it, if need be (which I doubt would be necessary) and take it home to test.

I'm posting this here for 2 reasons: 1 to get information from others like yourself and 2 and more to the point, to help others that may be travelling the route as me.

Hopefully this helps.

Cheers.

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Some posts made by senior members on this forum, advise newer members to keep away from procuring their sands from rivers, lakes, lagoons or dunes. But at the same time, they don't even know were their sands are procured from.

Which senior members...and in what context were new members advised to stay away from river, lakes, lagoons or dunes?

Edited by GaryD
Removed irrelevant question (see edit history)

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2 hours ago, GaryD said:

Which senior members...and in what context were new members advised to stay away from river, lakes, lagoons or dunes?

And while you're digging that up.....here's a few more questions.....lest you forget.

Actually it's not hard to find, you wrote and posted it.

Where (and where not) to Access Sand.

by Gary Donaldson | Apr 1, 2016 | How To | 2 comments

 

Now, some places are better to source sand than others.

Our preferred sources of sand include:

  • Quarries – where they actually manufacture sand.
    • Retail outlets – that access their sand from quarries.
      • Cement or Cinder block makers

      You may even be able to obtain sand through commercial greenhouse operators in your area.

      Regardless of the source, we recommend that you test the sand for suitability for use in iAVs……before you buy and transport it.

      The places that we don’t recommend include beaches – because the sand almost always contains calcium carbonate.

      The other places that we don’t like are river banks – where the sand is frequently full of pollutants – including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, heavy metals, sewage, and even nuclear waste.

       

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OK.....so we know that you got the information from a reliable source. ;)

Quote

The places that we don’t recommend include beaches – because the sand almost always contains calcium carbonate.

Yep....stand by that advice....unequivocally!

Quote

The other places that we don’t like are river banks – where the sand is frequently full of pollutants – including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, heavy metals, sewage, and even nuclear waste.

Yep.....no backing away from it.  That's the sort of thing that I'd say......and I'm happy with that advice, too.  No point in having too much nuclear waste in your system.

Quote

Some posts made by senior members on this forum, advise newer members to keep away from procuring their sands from rivers, lakes, lagoons or dunes. But at the same time, they don't even know were their sands are procured from.

This comment is right on one count.....we do advise people to avoid those areas.   The latter sentence is nonsense....and (as usual) distorted the intent in the advice entirely.   While the sand companies do source their sand from some of these places, they have the means to test, analyse, grade, wash, filter, sterilise and blend sands....all of which we do not.

Now, regardless of where a sand vendor gets their sand, if they can demonstrate that its consistent with the standard ASTM  C33, they're a reasonably safe bet.

Gary

 

Edited by GaryD
Irrelevant information deleted (see edit history)
Old Prospector likes this

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