Students analyse the suitability of the Sharquiyah Sands desert sand for concrete production

HALBAN As part of their field-projects, a group of 4th-year students from the Department of Applied Geosciences (AGEO) at the German University of Technology in Oman (GUtech) has conducted research on the chemical and physical properties and the suitability of the Sharquiyah Sands desert for concrete production. The project was supervised by Prof. Dr. Raad Alani, AGEO Department. “I think the desert has a rich potential for cement production. Last year a Bachelor thesis was conducted on the cement production in Sharquiyah Sands,” said Prof. Raad.

For an industrial concrete production water, coarse aggregates, fine aggregates and cement are used. In their fieldwork AGEO students Shaima Al Mazrui, Noora Al Rumhi, Mariya Al Nabhani and Meera Al Shibli applied different geological methods to test the properties of the sands. “Using the desert may be socially and economically beneficial compared to mining sand from river beds or the ocean,” said the students. The students concluded in their study that the fine grain size of the desert sand does not entirely meet the fine aggregate size requirements for industrial concrete production. However, the fine-grain aggregates of the desert can be used to a certain degree, while making alterations to the water-cement ratio as well as using different types of cement. Therefore, the students concluded that the use of sand for cement production should be further studied and analysed.

(c) GUtech / Dr. Manuela Gutberlet and Prof. Dr. Raad Alani

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