Want to get some information on silica sand, it’s characteristics and uses then you’ve come to the right place. You might also be wondering if you can replace silica sand with regular sand. In short, no. There is an apparent difference among the two but before we get into that, let’s talk a bit about silica sand for those new to this.

What is silica sand?

Silica sand, notoriously known as quartz sand, consists of two elements that are silica and oxygen. Also known as silicon oxide, silica is all around us and it is said that 10% of this earth consists of quartz. Quartz can be found in white or colourless but they do come in many different shades. We’re not going to get into the chemistry associated with silica sand so you can take a sigh of relief.

Let’s look at how silica sand is different from regular brown sand.

Difference between silica sand and ordinary sand

The difference is not much except for the amount of silica present in each of them. Regular sand or the sand used for construction has a much lower content of silica in it when compared to silica sand. Regular sand contains up to 80% of silica and has other minerals in them like iron, potassium and more.

Since regular sand does not have a higher content of silica and contains other minerals, it is considered to be impure. When compared to silica sand, such composition makes regular sand darker in color and more chemically reactive.

Uses of silica sand

The uses of silica sand is dependent on how the sand is processed. Since different processes result in different characteristics of silica sand, the uses of it increases drastically. The variations in its strength, stability, color, grains and more allow it to be used for many different things.

At this point, you may be wondering what silica sand is used for, so here are some of its uses.

Water filtration

Due to its size and shape, silica sand is used in filtration units removing contaminants from water. As water flows through it, it is able to neutralize acidic elements and due to its absorbent nature, it can easily remove granular impurities.

Glass making

The glass bottles that you see in the form of beers or the windows in your house, all are made from silica sand. The characteristics of the glass meaning it’s color, strength and transparency is dependent upon the quality of silica sand used. Higher grade silica sand in its purest form will result in a higher grade output.


Tableware, tiles and other types of ceramics are all made from silica. Silica aids in drying of ceramics and also helps maintain expansion and contraction in ceramics.


Silica sand can be very durable depending on how one processes it and therefore is used in the construction industry products like cement, asphalt, mortars and more. Silica sand is also used as a sealant due to its high resistance to weather, water and other types of corrosion.

If you want to learn more about the properties of silica sand or simply want to purchase it, reach out to PFS Aggregates today.

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