Some of the most common uses of sand are for the production of flat glass for windows and mirrors, as an abrasive industrial cleaning material and for landscaping recreational environments, such as golf courses and parks.
Flat glass is one of the most common and widely seen uses of sand. It is created by heating a special type of sand, known as silica sand, to incredibly high temperatures and compressing it. Flat glass windows are used in both residential and commercial buildings as well as in various types of vehicles. The same process is used to create specialty glass for containers and other objects. The color and appearance of the glass depends of the quality and grain of the silica sand used.
Sand as an industrial cleaner is most commonly used to strip paint off of buildings and clean various types of construction metal. In both cases, the sand is loaded into a specialized machine commonly referred to as a “sand blaster” and fired at the desired object using pressurized air. When the sand impacts against the surface, the force of the thousands of tiny particles chips away at the paint or rust.
The sand used in parks and other recreational areas is typically a low-grade artificial sand. More high-end areas, such as golf courses in country clubs, are known to import sand from actual beaches.