Where to find Silica sands(very fine!!)

rickharmer(z4British Colum)August 27, 2005

I don't know if this will help you find the very fine silicas,but try US Silica(google it);they also show that they have the metakaolins as well.I think you'll have to contact your regional rep(they're listed)or if you're lucky and live in the SE of the US,or Texas,you could probably go to the plants where this product is produced.

Here in Canada,Sil-Co-Sil is the product I get from the Mad Potter in Richmond,BC.Prices will vary from area to area.My bags are from US Silica ;some places may repackage.Some pottery stores(one in Langley,BC comes to mind)does that and puts it into smaller batches.

If you use it,BE CAREFUL.This stuff is bad news for your lungs.I declare here that those who use this and no respirators are nuts!And that language is toned down so as to not offend.Don't play with it unless you're properly prepared.I'll now yield the soapbox to someone else who wants to say that they don't use protection.BTW,this stuff stays in the air for a bit even after CAREFUL handling.

Cheers from here

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daisy_ny6(z6 NY)

Thanks Rick.

Any of you all thinking about not using a respirator, read the health risks associated with this stuff.

Here is a link that might be useful: Material Safety Data Sheet - Health Risks for Silica products

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 10:56PM
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Ratherbgardening(PNW 7 or 8)

Some pool stores stock it for sand filters.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 12:56PM
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gottatufa(z5 ny)

OH! It's that diosomething clay! I was thinking it would be really nice for a fine detail tufa item. My friend in ohio has a pool and she was putting it in, and I was thinking, " hmm... what a waste, but what the heck, I am going swimming."

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 4:21PM
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rockhewer(z4 WI)

Jo, do you mean DE, Diatomaceous Earth? It is used for pool filters but there are several types available. The pool stuff may have chemicals added and make it unsuitable for our uses.This page has a good description of it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous Earth

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 8:38PM
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gottatufa(z5 ny)

Yes, that's it! Thanks for the link. I had a feeling it was diatoms. Isn't it weird that there were so many on the earth at one time that we can mine them? If it kills insects, we could be onto something using it in planters! Will they have it on sale at the pool places this time of year? I hope so. My friend puts this stuff in her koi pond filter and her fish are very happy. I don't think it's toxic. It contains crystalline silica just like portland. Someone with a pool needs to experiment.


    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 9:54PM
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Mike Larkin

What about using Gypsum? I do not know the differences but Gypsum is very fine and easy to find

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 3:58PM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

No, gypsum is no good as an aggregate. Aggregates must be hard, non-soluble, and non-reactive. Gypsum is soft, soluble, and reactive. You can actually replace the cement with gypsum although you have to use the right gypsum and very careful technique to get a strong result.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 5:07PM
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There are different types of pool filter materials. DE is basically the skeletal remains of ancient Diatoms but there are also some very fine silicas that are used in different water purification systems that make an excellent super-fine aggregate. Most new pools have gone to the DE, but a few supply houses still carry the sand as well. You can also check with local water treatment system suppliers for the sand.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2005 at 2:55PM
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nmgirl(8 S.NM)

Our local DIY big box carries silica sand in the plaster/drywall section. If you live in an area where plaster is still used in home building/decorating you might find it there. I was walking down the aisle heading to the cement/concrete area and noticed the "silica sand" sign (try saying that three times fast, silica sand sign, silica sand sign ,silica sand sign..it's even fun to type!)
and remembered reading the posting here on GardenWeb Forums!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 7:37AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Is the "very fine!!" silica sand you are talking about actually "silica flour"? Silica sand is just a very pure inert sand, it can be anything from very fine to very coarse. The finest grades tend to be manufactured by crushing coarser grades. Crushing a particular form of non-crystalline silica gives an extremely fine soft (meaning smooth) powder called silica flour. You can also get (much cheaper) silica dust which is extremely fine crystalline silica which isn't as soft.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 8:47AM
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rickharmer(z4British Colum)

I get my silica sand from a pottery store.It,as stated,is from US Silica.It's,I believe,180 mesh size.It's every bit as fine as cement or silica fume.And,so far,it's working for me!
Is that too many "it's"?
Chewers from here

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 10:46AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Silica sand is used for sandblasting. I have used it to dry flowers but it is a bit too dusty for good results. You should be able to get it at any good lumber yard or building supply store. Sandy

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 1:24AM
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