This material can solve our sand shortage -min
Finite, founded by Carolyn Tam, Hamza Oza, Matteo Maccario, and Saki Maruyama (all from Dyson School of Design Engineering) jointly with the Royal College of Art, is developing a material made from desert sand which has similar structural properties to concrete but with less than half the carbon footprint
Sand shortage faced all over the world is forcing scientists and engineers to look out for alternative materials. Finite, founded by Carolyn Tam, Hamza Oza, Matteo Maccario, and Saki Maruyama (all from Dyson School of Design Engineering) jointly with the Royal College of Art, is developing a material made from desert sand which has similar structural properties to concrete but with less than half the carbon footprint.
Sand is one of the most crucial ingredients of the construction industry. The concrete industry alone uses approximately 25 billion tons of sand and gravel each year. India also, sand is a widely used commodity whose demand is continuously increasing with increasing infrastructure development of the country, and is widely used across the country by common citizens. Sand is an essential mineral and is used along with cement primarily in construction. As per estimate, the demand of sand is around 700 million tonnes per annum (FY17) and it is increasing at the rate of 6-7%. However, production and supply of sand is not uniform and its availability depends upon rain and replenishment rate of sand in rivers. Due to uncertainties in supply, the selling rate of the material varies significantly with shortages in supply leading to black marketing and illegal mining of the mineral. An alternative to sand, if developed, can solve many problems including some of the problems associated with sand mining.
Beach, river, and quarry sand resources used in many products and industries, especially construction are diminishing due to heavy use.
Desert sand is by contrast historically of little use, as its grains are too smooth and fine to bind together for building materials. Finite opens new opportunities to make use of desert sand and other abundant fine powders in construction.
Unlike concrete, which must either be down-cycled or sent to landfill at the end of its life, Finite can be remoulded and reused over multiple lifecycles or left to safely biodegrade.
Material made from desert sand matches concrete’s strength. However, the material is in its initial stage of development and requires several testing before the final material approved.