High-grade silica sand is a key raw material in the industrial development of the world, especially in the specialist glass, metal casting, and ceramics industries. High-grade silica sand contains a high portion of silica (over 99.5% SiO2) and is used for applications other than construction aggregates.
Unlike construction sands, which are used for their physical properties alone, high-grade silica sands are valued for a combination of chemical and physical properties. Ongoing economic and infrastructure development in the Asia/Pacific region is expected to drive growth. Glassmaking Silica sand is the primary component of all types of standard and specialty glass. It provides the essential SiO2 component of glass formulation; its chemical purity is the primary determinant of colour, clarity and strength in glass. Industrial sand is used to produce flat glass for building and automotive use, container glass for foods and beverages, and tableware. In its pulverised form, ground silica is required in the production of fibreglass insulation and for reinforcing glass fibres. Specialty glass applications include test tubes and other scientific tools, incandescent and fluorescent lamps.
At present, there is a global shortage of silica sand, owing to a number of export bans and the increased demand for sourced sand which is both environmentally and socially responsible. Sands found in deserts are unsuitable for the purposes the market requires, as it is shaped by wind rather than water, resulting in a further lack of supply. Significant growth is projected in the hydraulic fracturing market as horizontal drilling for shale oil and gas resources expands, largely in North America. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to remain the largest regional consumer of industrial sand through 2025, supported by the dominant Chinese market. The country’s container glass industry will drive further silica sand sales, supported by rising production of glass bottles, particularly in the alcoholic beverage sector including wine and beer.
- Glass Making (Float, Containers, Architectural, Thin Film)
- Metal Casting (Automobile Parts)
- Oil / Gas Well Stimulation (Frac sand / proppant)
- Paint and Coatings (Brightness and Durability)
- Chemical Production (Silica Gels)
- Construction Sand (Concrete)
- Filtration (Water Production)
- Recreational (Inert growing media, Golf Bunkers, Beaches)