Sand from the Rocks for Concrete Production

Aggregates Processing

Sand from the Rocks for Concrete Production

New Type of Crushed Sand to replace natural Sand in Concrete Production
The availability of natural sand for concrete production is facing challenges, while the so-called waste stockpiles at aggregate crushing areas are causing problems for producers. This means that the industry has a huge need to solve this challenge by finding suitable technology for usable crushed sand production.
(ed. WoMaMarcel - 24/9/2015)
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There can be two reasons for the sometimes high natural sand price, when compared to crushed aggregate. First, a good quality sand can make a huge impact on the cement consumption (the highest share of concrete self-price) to produce concrete with desired properties and second, because availability of good natural resources is almost exhausted in many parts of the world. This enlightens the two possible approaches in the crushed aggregate business (that can in fact be applied to any industry).

The first way is perhaps the most common, which is producing coarse aggregates that are virtually the same as from the other suppliers and trying to compete on the market with the price. This usually involves having only a marginal profit from every sold ton and an avoidable need to produce and sell huge volumes in order to render the operation profitable. For many huge aggregate quarries this has turned out to be especially difficult after the last financial crisis and, as a result, a lot of the so called “mammoth” quarries, operating on the first principle, have turned out to have overcapacities.

Increasing the price at times, when everyone else has overcapacity as well and is selling virtually the same product, is of course a difficult task. Another type of approach would then be selling high added value (profit part of the price) crushed aggregate products at volumes that the market today can readily consume. In special market situations this is of course a normal occurrence, like for example in the mentioned case of lack of natural sand.

The basic commercial idea under future solutions for crushed sand from the aggregate producer’s point of view then lies in developing a technology to have a different kind of aggregate production approach. This involves not only trying to compete with the price but in fact producing high added value product that can even be brand named on the market to emphasize that it is unique, which has normally not been typical for natural sand or aggregates in general. This interesting trend has already recently began and producers who have invested into considerably improving the quality of their crushed sand want to emphasize that it is different from the material that is co-generated in the coarse aggregate production process.

The two brand-named crushed sands to the author’s knowledge currently are the Advanta engineer concrete sand produced by LuckStone ( in Virginia, United States and the RoboSand produced by Robo Silicon ( in India. The Advanta crushed sand is in fact being produced by the aid of Metso’s static air-classification solutions.

Fig. 8: Metso’s Dual AC22.5GI static air-classifier units at Luck Stone’s Goose Creek plant, operating at maximum throughput of up to 100 tph.

Fig. 9: Ceramic linings and vanes inside one of the GI classifier units to the left; after 8 years of operation, the wear of the linings is still negligible.

Fig. 10: Typical feed to and product from the dual AC22.5GI air-classifiers at Luck Stone’s Goose Creek plant.

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