Types of sand in nature and the difference between them, and their economic importance!

There are two types of sand in nature; the first is silica sand. It is a pure white sandstone containing a high percentage of silica - SiO2 »more than« 99% ». It consists mainly of quartz metal granules, contains a low amount of impurities, and heavy metals «less than 0.1%».

The other type is glass sand. It is also a type of silica sand, which is characterized by physical and chemical properties that fit, for example, with the glass industry. The size of the granules is often between 100 - 500 microns and the Fe2O3 iron oxide is less than 0.05%.

Sources of natural silica

Organic source as oil. It consists of the remains of skeletons of animals after being fossilized. The other source is the mineral source, which is the most common. This substance is found in most parts of the world because the Si element represents approximately 28% of the outer crust of the earth, about 12% of silica sand and the rest in mud form.

Silica sand is abundant in Egypt in many areas including:

* North Sinai Governorate

* Abu Zneima area in South Sinai Governorate

* Zafarana area in the Red Sea Governorate, but this region is characterized by global purity and quality of sand.

Uses of silica sand:

* Used in making glassware, crystal glass, glass panel, glass fiber, glass optics.

* Plumbing Molds.

* Reduction factor for dissolving basal oxides in solubility processes.

* Materials refined, and in the manufacture of porcelain and bricks.

* Filters in floating water stations and swimming pools.

* Extrusion material used in the manufacture of rubber, plastic, paper, paints, and in a special type of cement.

* In various chemical industries such as detergents, production of sodium silicate, paints industry, and in the manufacture of pipes.

* Used in many industrial, technical, and medical fields.

* In the field of electronics such as the manufacture of solar panels, transistors, and other devices and industrial materials that underpin the advanced technology of silicon.

The Egyptian research team, led by Dr. Ahmed El Sayed Awad, a researcher in the Operations Development Department at the Petroleum Research Institute, has created a new generation of nanocomposite polymers using silica sand in Sinai, which has increased applications in construction, Excellent properties such as "light weight, mechanical strength, corrosion resistance, low cost of fabrication, and low maintenance costs."

Classification of glass sand «Silica»:

It is classified according to the standard specifications of the producing countries. According to British specifications, glass sand is classified into 3 categories: A, B, C

For type A: Sand is fine and used in the manufacture of glass lenses, so that the ratio of silica is not less than «99.5%», and the percentage of iron oxides does not exceed «0.003%».

Class B: is a type used in the manufacture of decorative glass, and must contain silica not less than 99.5%, and the percentage of iron oxides is not more than «0.013%».

Class C is used for manufacturing glass of non-colored lenses and container glass for chemicals. Its silica content should not be less than 98.5% and the iron oxides should not exceed 0.03.

Silica sand is a natural wealth that is no less valuable than the rest of the wealth, whose material value increases after converting it from cheap raw material to the level of some other natural resources such as phosphates

Raw purification steps: -

* Chemical analysis of ore

Its purpose is to know its content mainly from silica and iron oxide, as well as check for the presence of some other secondary elements.

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