Silica Sand (sand for glassmaking)
All you need to know about Silica Sand
What Is Silica Sand?
Silica (SiO2) sand is generally the sand that you can get all over a beach and it also happens to be the most commonly used sand. It is most commonly composed by either crushing sandstone or else it is most commonly taken from naturally occurring points or locations, such as beaches and river beds. The fusion point of the purest form of silica is 1,760 °C (3,200 °F), however, the sands which are used for the extraction of silica exhibit a lower melting point due to impurities. For casting which requires a high melting point, such as steels, at least 98% pure should be used; however, for metals having lower melting points, like cast iron and non-ferrous metals, the sand that has low purity can be used (between 94 and 98% pure).
Silica-sand happens to be the most commonly used sand because it is found in abundance, and thus it costs low (therein being its greatest advantage). However, there are some disadvantages of sand as well. The disadvantages of silica are high thermal expansion, which can result in casting defects in metals having high melting points, and low thermal conductivity, which can very easily result in defective casting. Apart from there that, there comes some more barriers to it. It also cannot be used in sync with some of the basic metals because it will chemically react with the metal, resulting in surface defects. Finally, it releases silica particles during the pour, risking silicosis in foundry workers.
What is another name for silica sand?
Silica sand, also known as quartz sand, white sand, or industrial sand, is made up of two main elements: silica and oxygen. Specifically, silica sand is made up of silicon dioxide (SiO2). The most common form of SiO2 is quartz – a chemically inert and relatively hard mineral.