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Can sand be compacted?

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  • Can sand be compacted?

    It's always been my understanding that sand cannot be compacted because all the grains are the same size. There's no fines to interlock the bigger grains. I've had densometer tests done and we've never reached 100% compaction. Is this theory right?
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Can sand be compacted?

    I used to build homes in Cape Cod Mass. A sand spit on the atlantic.
    Mucho sand. Homes where 1 1/2 story capes,full basements. Found. 10" pour 8 Ft. tall[full basement], no rebar no footing. 8" pour required a 8"x16" footing ,no re-bar. This was the early 70s. Was selling a 24'x32' Cape $30,000. This was the standard of the industry. My own house back there is still straight.

    Geos say sand supports around 3000 per Sq. Ft. Many homes in S F are built on sand. Working on one now. Found. here ,are a whole different game
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

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    • #3
      Re: Can sand be compacted?

      er...don't they call it glass?

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      • #4
        Re: Can sand be compacted?

        They are compacting sand down in Saudi building those big islands. My boss has said they did it all the time in Louisiana putting in driveways. Just don't know how they did it.
        God Bless You Super Good!!!

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        • #5
          Re: Can sand be compacted?

          "Can Sand Be Compacted?"

          I think Sylvan Tieger is the man needed for this answer. I am sure he has been told on several occasions to "pound sand." I'll bet he's got the most experience in this field.

          Bruce
          Last edited by brucestorey; 09-17-2007, 04:20 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Can sand be compacted?

            They can run a sled over it to flatten it out but that's not really compacting.
            Buy cheap, buy twice.

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            • #7
              Re: Can sand be compacted?

              You compact sand by use a vibrating plate as opposed to a stomping type compactor.

              You never really get 100% compaction on any soil, which is why the civil engineer will specify somewhere around 95% on critical areas.
              the dog

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              • #8
                Re: Can sand be compacted?

                Sand can be compacted. If doing a small area wet sand to 6% moisture content (what ever that is) then hit it with a 100lb plate wacker. Build up in small lifts of about 6-8". My personal belief is if you make more then 4 passes your wasting your time as what Dog said you never really get 100% compaction and you can over compact.

                "There's no fines to interlock the bigger grains" This statement is kind of back wards. The fines don't play so much of a part in compaction as the bigger grains (AKA aggregate).

                EX; When compacting 4" minus its all the 4" and less rocks(aggregate) that are locking together and holding the material in place. When you over compact you start crushing the aggregate and the material starts losing its ability to hold at a high compaction rate.

                Sand is hard to compact because it lacks a good aggregate. Add enough stone or crusher dust to it and you will notice an increase compaction percentage.

                I've never done it but I've read about using water compaction to compact sand. Kinda interesting.
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                • #9
                  Re: Can sand be compacted?

                  We always put in water when compacting sand, but as mentioned it will never be 100%.

                  Yes, sand can be compacted...........
                  Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                  http://www.contractorspub.com

                  A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Can sand be compacted?

                    Ben, curious about the origin of your inquiry.
                    Regarding backfill?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Can sand be compacted?

                      Originally posted by Gene Bickford View Post
                      Sand can be compacted. If doing a small area wet sand to 6% moisture content (what ever that is) then hit it with a 100lb plate wacker. Build up in small lifts of about 6-8". My personal belief is if you make more then 4 passes your wasting your time as what Dog said you never really get 100% compaction and you can over compact.

                      "There's no fines to interlock the bigger grains" This statement is kind of back wards. The fines don't play so much of a part in compaction as the bigger grains (AKA aggregate).

                      EX; When compacting 4" minus its all the 4" and less rocks(aggregate) that are locking together and holding the material in place. When you over compact you start crushing the aggregate and the material starts losing its ability to hold at a high compaction rate.

                      Sand is hard to compact because it lacks a good aggregate. Add enough stone or crusher dust to it and you will notice an increase compaction percentage.

                      I've never done it but I've read about using water compaction to compact sand. Kinda interesting.
                      I have to disagree with you on a few points Gene.

                      1) Over Compaction of Sand or Soil: Over compaction is never a problem. In any structural area you want the maximum compaction possible. Even in landscaping areas it is standard procedure to get solid compaction of a trench and place sod to the proper depth on top.

                      2) Using a wacker on sand is a losing battle. As the wacker slams down it simply pushes the sand up on the sides. A much more efficient way is to "jett" by connecting a pipe to a hose and driving it deep into the sand. If jetting is not possible, a vibrating plate is used. This is a heavy plate that vibrates very quickly rather than bouncing up and down.
                      the dog

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                      • #12
                        Re: Can sand be compacted?

                        i've been under the impression that sand is 90% compact when damp.

                        if you want compact, use road base. that stuff is like concrete when tamped.

                        you can drive on it even in pouring rain.

                        rick.
                        phoebe it is

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