INTRODUCTION: Specialty sands are sands that can be used for special purposed either because of their high chemical purity or because of their particular distribution of grain sizes. Specialty sands are sometimes called industrial sands or high-silica sands. The geologic occurrence and areal distribution of sands having these special chemical and physical properties are restricted. In Indiana, for example, sands and gravels for aggregate or road construction can be found in nearly every county, but specialty sands can be found in only a few areas. Because specialty sands have limited occurrence, they can demand a higher unit price than sand and gravel used for general purposes. And because some specialty sands must be shipped long distances, the transportation cost my exceed the raw material cost by several times. Processing in some form is generally necessary to improve either the chemical purity or grain-size distribution. Unconsolidated sands, weakly cemented sandstones, or pebble conglomerates may be used as raw material for specialty sands. If sandstones or conglomerates are used as a raw material, the rock must be disaggregated into discrete grains before further processing. Specifications for specialty sands are generally exact, but some specifications depend on the material that is available at a reasonable cost. Foundry sands and sands requiring a high chemical purity generally follow precise specifications, but even these specifications are subject to change by negotiation between producer and consumer.
Carr, D. D. 1971, Specialty sand resources of Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Bulletin 42F, 30 p., 7 fig., 2 pl.
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