Q:

What is silica sand used for?

A:

Silica sand has many uses, including making glass. It is the key ingredient in windows, jars and bottles. Manufacturers use it in light bulbs, florescent tubes, televisions and computers. A family commonly uses silica on the dinner table in the forms of leaded crystal, drinking glasses and dishes, according to the Material Products Association.

Silica has a high melting point, making it an ideal product for use in foundries. An item pressed into the sand leaves an imprint, which the foundry fills with molten metal. Once the cast has hardened, workers lift it from the sand mold and brush away any remaining sand.

The relatively small granule size of silica sand is also ideal for filtration. It helps keep the water in swimming pools clear and removes harmful waste in sewer treatment plants.

Brick manufacturers mix sand with clay to form their products. This addition helps to create interesting-looking materials for building homes. Other manufactures use it to create tiles, concrete blocks and roofing materials.

Silica is a natural abrasive. Used in sandblasting machines, it cuts through corrosion to prepare surfaces for painting or other finishes. Silicon dioxide, glued to strong paper, becomes sandpaper.

Finely ground sand is also essential in the manufacture of ceramic items. Such items range from bathroom fixtures to coffee mugs.


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