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How to Make Artificial Quartz Sand?

Published time:13 May 2024

Quartz sand is an important industrial mineral raw material. According to different product qualities, it can be divided into ordinary quartz sand, refined quartz sand, high-purity quartz sand, fused quartz sand, etc. High-purity quartz sand is currently the product with the highest demand in the quartz sand market. With its superior performance, it has become a key raw material in photovoltaics, semiconductors, and other fields. It is mainly used to produce quartz crucibles and quartz boats.

At present, there are three main production methods for quartz sand, which are deeply purified from quartz minerals (purification method), processed from natural crystals as raw materials (natural crystal processing method), and produced from silicon-containing compounds as raw materials (synthetic method). Among them, the purification method is currently the mainstream production method of quartz sand in China. To produce high-purity quartz sand through this method, high-purity quartz sand raw ore is required as raw material. The synthesis method is an emerging method for preparing high-purity quartz sand in China. It refers to the quartz sand products produced from silicon-containing compounds such as sodium silicate and aluminum silicate as raw materials through mixing, heating, crystallization, crushing, washing, drying, etc, collectively called synthetic quartz sand or artificial quartz sand. Synthetic quartz sand has the advantages of high strength, high purity, strong corrosion resistance, and good chemical stability, and it can be used in industry, electronics, optics, semiconductors, machinery, aviation, and other fields.

 

Artificial Synthetic Quartz Sand Overview

Artificial synthetic quartz sand is an artificial material. It is an inorganic non-metallic material made from quartz sand, kaolin, aluminum powder, and other raw materials through crushing, screening, mixing, molding, drying, sintering, and other processes.

quartz silica sand

 

Artificial Synthetic Quartz Sand Physical Properties

The physical properties of artificial synthetic quartz sand are similar to natural quartz sand, and it has the advantages of good high-temperature resistance, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, high compressive strength, and good insulation properties. However, due to its high hardness, difficulty in processing, and easy brittleness, the application range of Artificial synthetic quartz sand is relatively narrow.

 

Artificial Synthetic Quartz Sand Application

The main application areas of artificial synthetic quartz sand are wear-resistant materials, high-temperature equipment materials, the chemical industry, metallurgy and other industry equipment manufacturing, high-strength materials, insulation materials, etc., 

  • In terms of wear-resistant materials, artificial synthetic quartz sand can be used to make grinding wheels, abrasives, sandpaper, etc.
  • In terms of high-temperature equipment materials, artificial synthetic quartz sand can be used to make thermocouples, thermocouple tubes, thermocouple sleeves, etc.
  • In terms of manufacturing equipment in the chemical industry, metallurgy, and other industries, artificial synthetic quartz sand can be used to make acid and alkali-resistant pipes, acid and alkali-resistant containers, acid and alkali-resistant pumps, etc.
  • In terms of high-strength materials, artificial synthetic quartz sand can be used to make high-strength concrete, high-strength glass, high-strength ceramics, etc.
  • In terms of insulation materials, artificial synthetic quartz sand can be used to make insulating ceramics, insulating plates, insulating tubes, etc.

 

Artificial Synthetic Quartz Sand Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of artificial synthetic quartz sand mainly includes crushing, screening, mixing, molding, drying, sintering, and other processes.

  • Crushing: Firstly, natural quartz ore or quartz sand is crushed into appropriate particle sizes for further processing.
  • Screening: The crushed quartz particles are screened to remove impurities and particles that do not meet specifications, ensuring product quality.
  • Mixing: The screened quartz particles are mixed with resins, pigments, and other additives. The mixing process requires strict control of ingredient proportions to ensure the performance and appearance of the final product.
  • Molding: The mixed materials are filled into molds, then compacted to fill the molds and achieve the desired shapes and sizes through methods such as vibration or compression.
  • Drying: The filled molds typically undergo a drying process to remove moisture and promote material curing. Drying can be done through natural air drying or using drying equipment.
  • Sintering: The filled and dried molds undergo a sintering process, where they are subjected to high temperatures to cure the resin, tightly bond the quartz particles, and form solid Artificial synthetic quartz sand

 

Artificial Synthetic Quartz Sand Development

The physical properties of Artificial synthetic quartz sand are similar to natural quartz sand, and it has the advantages of good high-temperature resistance, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, high compressive strength, and good insulation properties.

Synthetic sand may indeed be the key to solving the pain points of the industry in the long term, but currently, the industry is only in the pilot stage. It is still very uncertain whether it can be well applied to the inner layer to replace natural sand in the downstream running-in process.

In addition, process difficulty and high cost are issues that need to be solved urgently. Therefore, there is still a long way to go to mass-produce synthetic sand and solve the bottleneck constraints of high-purity sand. Whether it can completely replace natural sand remains to be discussed.

First of all, the purity of synthetic sand is higher than that of natural quartz, but the purity of the inner sand of the crucible is not always better. If the purity is too high, the temperature resistance will decrease. 

Secondly, the cost of synthetic sand is several times higher than that of natural quartz sand. It is economical to use it in semiconductor crucibles, but it is not economical to use it in lower-priced photovoltaic crucibles.

In summary, artificial synthetic quartz sand is making progress, but it is still too early to be able to replace natural quartz sand. From a long-term market perspective, artificial synthetic quartz sand is an inevitable trend to replace natural quartz sand. The future development of artificial synthetic quartz sand The direction will be to improve its processing performance and reduce its brittleness to expand its application range.

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