Sand facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Kalabrien Ricadi Sandwellen 2129
Sand on a beach in Calabria. You can see sand dunes here.
SandRoad
A sand road in Namibia

Sand is a mixture of very small pieces of different rocks or minerals such as granite and feldspar and sand stone. Sand grains are between the size of gravel grains (which is from 2 mm to 64 mm) and the size of silt (which is around 0.0625 mm to 0.004 mm). It is found on beaches, and in deserts.

Sand is most of the time made of silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2). Sand is also formed by Granite by weathering and erosion. Sand is made from large boulders eroding (being broken apart by wind or rocks). They get smaller and smaller until they reach the beach or a low lying area. Sand dunes are made when wind or a river pulls sand into a mountain-like shape. They can be found in deserts, but sometimes high up on beaches too.

It can also be used to make sand castles.

Uses

Песчинки-1. Желтый строительный песок
Sand grains of yellow building sand. Microscope Lumam P-8. EPI lighting. The photo of each grain of sand is the result of multifocal stacking..
  • Agriculture: Sandy soils are ideal for crops such as watermelons, peaches and peanuts, and their excellent drainage characteristics make them suitable for intensive dairy farming.
  • Aquaria: Sand makes a low cost aquarium base material which some believe is better than gravel for home use. It is also a necessity for saltwater reef tanks, which emulate environments composed largely of aragonite sand broken down from coral and shellfish.
  • Artificial reefs: Geotextile bagged sand can serve as the foundation for new reefs.
  • Artificial islands in the Persian Gulf.
  • Beach nourishment: Governments move sand to beaches where tides, storms or deliberate changes to the shoreline erode the original sand.
  • Brick: Manufacturing plants add sand to a mixture of clay and other materials for manufacturing bricks.
  • Cob: Coarse sand makes up as much as 75% of cob.
  • Concrete: Sand is often a principal component of this critical construction material.
  • Glass: Sand rich in silica is the principal component in common glasses.
  • Hydraulic fracturing: A drilling technique for natural gas, which uses rounded silica sand as a "proppant", a material to hold open cracks that are caused by the hydraulic fracturing process.
  • Landscaping: Sand makes small hills and slopes (golf courses would be an example).
  • Mortar: Sand is mixed with masonry cement or Portland cement and lime to be used in masonry construction.
  • Paint: Mixing sand with paint produces a textured finish for walls and ceilings or non-slip floor surfaces.
  • Railroads: Engine drivers and rail transit operators use sand to improve the traction of wheels on the rails.
  • Recreation: Playing with sand is a favorite beach time activity. One of the most beloved uses of sand is to make sometimes intricate, sometimes simple structures known as sand castles. Such structures are well known for their impermanence. Sand is also used in children's play. Special play areas enclosing a significant area of sand, known as sandboxes, are common on many public playgrounds, and even at some single family homes. Sand dunes are also popular among climbers, motorcyclists and beach buggy drivers.
  • Roads: Sand improves traction (and thus traffic safety) in icy or snowy conditions.
  • Sand animation: Performance artists draw images in sand. Makers of animated films use the same term to describe their use of sand on frontlit or backlit glass.
  • Sand casting: Casters moisten or oil molding sand, also known as foundry sand and then shape it into molds into which they pour molten material. This type of sand must be able to withstand high temperatures and pressure, allow gases to escape, have a uniform, small grain size and be non-reactive with metals.
  • Sand castles: Shaping sand into castles or other miniature buildings is a popular beach activity.
  • Sandbags: These protect against floods and gunfire. The inexpensive bags are easy to transport when empty, and unskilled volunteers can quickly fill them with local sand in emergencies.
  • Sandblasting: Graded sand serves as an abrasive in cleaning, preparing, and polishing.
  • Thermal weapon: While not in widespread use anymore, sand used to be heated and poured on invading troops in the classical and medieval time periods.
  • Water filtration: Media filters use sand for filtering water.
  • Wuḍūʾ: the Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body.
  • Zoanthid "skeletons": Animals in this order of marine benthic cnidarians related to corals and sea anemones, incorporate sand into their mesoglea for structural strength, which they need because they lack a true skeleton.

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Sand Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.