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British Play Sand

British Play Sand is market leader in the production of quality play sand.

What makes a good play sand?

Play sand is made from quartz sand. Quartz or silica can be readily found in the UK, interspersed with sedimentary deposits of minerals, and is frequently processed for the building industry.  Although many of these sands would pass the safety test for heavy metals they are unsuitable for use as play sand primarily due to their contamination by natural minerals and their particle shape. The ideal play sand is non-toxic, non-staining and has sub-rounded grains.

 

Staining

The ferrous oxide content determines the degree to which the sand will cause staining.  Staining is judged on a scale from 1 to 5 with 1 being the most prominent and 5 being non-visible. 

All sand produced by British Play Sand falls into category 5 on all materials except nylon and polyester which falls into the 4-5 range.

 

Particle Size

The particle size should fall within a range from 1mm down to 63 micron, with the majority falling in the 355 to 125 micron range.

Particle size plays an important part in the moulding characteristics of sand, so the correct size is important for its qualities as a play material.

 

Particle Shape

The grain shape should be sub-rounded in order to avoid abrasion.

This is also extemely important as it can be easily washed out should a sand particle get into an eye.

 

Processing Play Sand

British Play Sand is continually monitoring and improving production methods to ensure only the highest quality end product reaches the market.

The sand is first extracted from inland quarries and transferred by conveyor into lorries for transportation to the hydro sizing plant.  There it is fed into two large tanks in turn where it is washed to ensure any impurities are removed such as traces of ferrous oxide (iron) which cause staining.

This process also grades the sand by either increasing or decreasing the water pressure to remove larger or smaller particle sizes and rubs the edges off to leave sub-rounded grains. 

The sand is then loaded onto lorries which transport the sand to our bagging plant where it is unloaded into a dedicated bay protected from outside contaminating influences.  From there it is fed into hoppers along conveyor belts, travels over screens to further remove any impurities, passes under very strong electro-magnets and is packed into bags.

Once bagged, the sand is stacked onto pallets which have a base layer card to prevent damage to the bags from the pallet and the pallets are protected with a polythene cover sheet and shrink wrapping.

Samples of all batches of sand are regularly checked by the laboratories both at the quarry and during the production process in order to ensure they comply with the required quality standard. In March 2013 samples of playsand were also tested for tremolite and none was found to be present.

 

Contact Details

For further information on our play sand, please contact alan.ford@william-sinclair.co.uk

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