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RE: Beach Sand

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There is an interesting article with photographs in the January 1991 issue
of Concrete International which tracked the performance of concrete
structures on Bikini atoll made from coral, beach sands, and salt water. As
expected, there was horrible corrosion associated with the salts in the
concrete, but the situation was not as bad where there was plenty of
concrete cover and the concrete was isolated from the atmosphere.

-----Original Message-----
From: NRoselund(--nospam--at) [mailto:NRoselund(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, December 15, 1999 9:50 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: Beach Sand

Beach sand can be washed to remove chlorides and other potentially damaging 
salts -- for a small project, you can wash the sand in batches in a barrel 
mixer.  You can test the effectiveness of the washing process by looking for

white salt deposits to show up at the edges of a pile as the sand dries.
can use the test to determine how many wash cycles are needed.  Discard the 
wash water, of course.

Salt is potentially damaging to embedded steel such as reinforcing and

Beach sand may not be size-graded properly for use as fine aggregate in a 
good quality structural concrete.

Nels Roselund
Structural Engineer