Can Quarry Dust Replace Sand in a Cement Mix?

As the ability to use natural sand in cement mixtures declines, there has been an increased interest in the potential of quarry dust to replace it. Quarry dust is a waste product produced during the crushing process which is used to extract stone, and there is a great deal of it around, making it plentiful and cheap.

Uses of Quarry Dust

The dust produced by quarrying has already been used in the construction industry for projects such as road building, and making materials such as bricks and tiles. The dust has been found to be suitable for these practises, and this makes its transformation into a useful cement mix replacement more likely.

Quarry Dust and Cement Mix

Recent research into the potential of quarry dust in cement mixes have focused upon a partial replacement of the sand. The results to far suggest that a cement mix made of quarry dust has an increased workability, making it more flexible and easy to use, but there are doubts about its durability, and compressive strength.

Experiments suggest that river sand has a naturally stronger and harder quality which makes the quarry dust less likely to be usable as a replacement. However, small amounts of quarry dust can be mixed with sand to make a suitable compound.