Silica has been a vital material in the construction industry for centuries, and it continues to play a significant role in modern construction practices. It is utilised in a variety of construction materials, including concrete, mortar, and fibre cement siding, to enhance their strength, durability, and water resistance. In this article, we delve deeper into the uses of silica in construction, the benefits it provides and why it remains crucial to the construction industry.
We know that concrete is the most commonly used construction material in the world, and it’s no secret that silica is a main component of concrete. Silica, in the form of quartz, is added to concrete to improve its strength and durability while providing resistance to wear and tear. The addition of silica also decreases the porosity (the space between) of the concrete, making it less susceptible to water damage and other types of deterioration.
Mortar is another common construction material that benefits from the addition of silica. Mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and water used to bond bricks, blocks, and other masonry units. Silica, in the form of sand, is added to mortar to improve its workability, durability, and water resistance. Without silica, mortar would be weak and prone to cracking, which could compromise the building’s structural integrity.
Silica also plays a crucial role in the production of fibre cement siding. Fibre cement siding is manufactured by combining cement, sand, and cellulose fibres, which are then pressed into sheets. Silica is added to the mix to improve the durability and weather resistance of the siding, preventing moisture from penetrating the siding and causing damage.
In addition to the benefits of strength, durability, and water resistance, silica has other advantages in construction. For instance, silica-based concrete and mortar can be poured into complex shapes and designs, enabling architects to create unique and aesthetically pleasing buildings. Furthermore, because of its abundance and availability, silica is a cost-effective material for construction, making it an attractive option for builders.
It’s evident that silica is an indispensable material in the construction industry, and its importance cannot be overstated. It provides numerous benefits to construction materials, such as enhancing their strength, durability, and water resistance. As the industry continues to prioritise safety and sustainability, alternative materials such as metakaolin may gain more popularity in the future. Nonetheless, the use of silica in construction will remain crucial for the foreseeable future.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as professional advice. The reader is advised to conduct their own research and seek independent advice from relevant professionals before making any decisions based on the information contained in this article.The information provided in this article is based on publicly available data and the opinions expressed are those of the author. The author shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.