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Shortage of river sand, has created a need for sand substitutes. Quarry dust from crushing of rocks, can be upto 25% of the aggregates produced. This is a significant amount, and it is important to find alternate uses for it. Here we discuss its use as a sand substitute in construction mortar.

Construction Mortar

A study done in Tamilnadu came up with the following results.

  1. The Test results confirm that the performance of the crusher dust as fine aggregate in brickwork is better
  2. than the natural river sand. The refined crusher dust without micro fines below 150 micron contributes the maximum compressive strength when compared to sand and unrefined dust.
  3. In brick prisms using bricks of average compressive 2 strength of 4 N/mm , first failure occurs in the bricks for CM 1:4, 1:5 and 1:6 and not in the mortar joints.
Interestingly they found that quarry dust was superior to sand, if one maintains the proper cement/aggregate ratio. Cement to fine aggregate ratio (by volume) of less than 1:8 is not recommended.


  1. International Journal on Design and Manufacturing Technologies, Vol.3, No.1, January 2009 SUBSTITUTION OF QUARRY DUST TO SAND FOR MORTAR IN BRICK MASONRY WORKS Appukutty P. , Murugesan R. P.A. Polytechnic College, Pollachi, India Sri Ranganathar Engineering College, Coimbatore, India