Sandbox GlasSand(TM) : Softer, purer, safer (silica dust free) than traditional sand.

Is it silica sand or GlasSand(TM)?  It's glass - softer, safer, less dusty.


There are a lot of different kinds of sand. And many grades and meshes of crushed glass. So comparisons are tricky.  In general though, we can produce a grade of glass to match and replace most varieties of sand and the particular needs of our customers  

“Natural” sand is particles of a certain size formed from rock and other minerals over millennia from the action of water, waves, weather and wind. (We call it 4W sand.) It’s “sand” because of its size and shape, nor because of its makeup.  Most “beach” sand is made from quartz or silica – Si02. Quartz sand, siica sand, coal slag sand, gypsum sand, coral sand, glass sand – they’re all sands regardless of how formed.

They differ though in shape, structure and hardness. Quartz sand is crystalline and quite hard. Amorphous sands are generally softer. Beach sand derives from granite, and granite is formed mainly from quartz. Most of the earth’s mountain and crust is made of granite, and much of its surface is made of quartz sand. 

After air and water, 4Wl sand is the most common material on the planet.

Glass bottles are initially made mostly from quartz sand, so it’s very much in demand. So is concrete, out of which most of the world’s cities and roads are built. So is proppant, used for fracking in the oil industry. So is sandblasting aggregate, used to strip and maintain the world’s bridges, rail cars and industrial machinery. No wonder there’s currently a serious global sand “shortage.”

Something will have to take its place. 

That something is glass sand. The goal is to replace disappearing “natural” sand with plentiful glass sand. There are billions of tons of bottles to make it from. A true "natural resource - once removed."

There was a time when household and commercial lamps were routinely fueled with whale oil. It worked fine but its supply dwindled. Refined oil took its place. 4W sand has been used for decades to "sandblast" metal surfaces. But 4W sand is carcinogenic; silicon dust is a killer. Custom-processed glass sand, while softer, is taking its place with adjustments to its grade.

Glass sand differs from natural sand in one principal characteristic: hardness. Glass bottle processing does not extract quartz from the glass compound; it’s been changed chemically by the 2400 degree F temperatures necessary to form the molten glass. But glass-sand maintains some of the properties of the quartz sand – enough to render it a surrogate for the sand. It’s generally just not as hard. As kerosene replaced whale oil, glass-sand is poised to replace 4W sand worldwide. Starting on the Louisiana coast.

                                        Check  column 2 for technical specs  >>>>>>>>>


Six grades of GlasSand(TM)   Bottle cullet to sandbox mesh


1 mil = 1/1000 inch = .001

1 mil = .03 mm

1 mm = .04 inch

1 inch = 25 mm, 1000 mils


  • Amorphous (indeterminate chemical structure – varies; not crystalline)
  • 5.5 MOhs hardness ; Knoop scale:
  • Size: ranges from 1.0 – 3.0 mils = 1/1000-3/1000 inch = .025- .075 mm – extra fine – coarse
  • 40-80 mesh =.17mm-.42mm
  • Shape: normally angular to sub-angular; rounded to degree of abrasion or filtering.
  • Dust: almost dust-free
  • Carcinogenicity-Category not listed
  • Compressibility: greater than quartz SiO2
  • Specific Gravity (H2O = 1) 2.5-2.7
  • Comparisons: aluminum: 2.7, coal slag: 2.7, diamond: 2.3, gold: 18, steel: 7.5, brass: 8.5)

SAND  (Silicon dioxide – SiO2,  Quartz Sand, Silica Sand)

  • Crystalline (ordered chemical structure = harder)
  • 7.0 MOhs hardness; Knoop scale:
  • Size: “sand” = 2 millimeters to 1/256th (or 0.0625) of a millimeter in diameter
  • Shape: angular
  • Shape – frac sand: rounded by processing
  • Dust: masonry, volleyball sand, sandbox sand: 3-5%
  • Carcinogenicity-Category 1A
  • Compressibility:
  • § Gravels and sands are practically incompressible. If a moist mass of these materials is subjected to compression, there is no significant change in their volume;
  • Specific Gravity (H2O = 1): 2.6 - 2.80 (silica) 7.0 (quartz)