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Identification of the most suitable rock types for manufacture of quarry dust in Sri Lanka

Authors:

U De S Jayawardena ,

Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya., LK
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DMS Dissanayake

Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya., LK
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Abstract

The construction industry of Sri Lanka expects a serious shortage of river sand in the near future due to over exploitation. As a result the construction industry will be affected unless suitable alternatives are found for river sand. Near shore marine sand, dune sand and quarry dust (crushed rocks) are the alternatives available in Sri Lanka. Quarry dust however may not be suitable for civil constructions since it is a mixture of various broken minerals. This study was initiated to determine the mineralogical composition of quarry dust.

Fresh rock samples from different quarries were collected for the laboratory tests. Thin sections were prepared from each sample and studied under the petrographic microscope. Mineral composition of each sample was determined using a point counting instrument attached to the microscope.

The main minerals present in fresh rocks are quartz, feldspar, biotite mica, hornblende and hypersthene. Few other minerals are also present as minor components. There are no reactive forms of silica minerals such as opal and chalcedony in these rocks. Hornblende biotite gneiss, biotite gneiss, migmatite and migmatitic gneiss have mica percentages higher than 5% (5%-20%). Mica percentage in charnockite, charnocktic gneiss and granitic gneiss is always less than 5%. Generally, sand with less than 5% of mica is considered to be suitable for civil engineering construction. Therefor, charnockite, and charnockitic gneiss and granitic gneiss rock quarries are suitable for supply of quarry dust to be used as an alternative for river sand.

Keywords: Concrete, metamorphic rocks, quarries, sand, Sri Lanka  

doi:10.4038/jnsfsr.v36i3.157  

Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka 36 (3) 215-218

How to Cite: Jayawardena, U.D.S. and Dissanayake, D., 2008. Identification of the most suitable rock types for manufacture of quarry dust in Sri Lanka. Journal of the National Science Foundation of Sri Lanka, 36(3), pp.215–218. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jnsfsr.v36i3.157
Published on 29 Sep 2008.
Peer Reviewed

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