Difference Between M Sand And River Sand

What Is Sand?

Sand is an important building material. In construction, sand is used everywhere from the foundation to finishing works like plastering. Sand provides strength, bulk, and stability to materials like concrete, mortar, asphalt, and cement.

There are various types of sands available such as natural or river sand, concrete sand, pit sand, fill sand, utility sand, and M-sand. All of these are used in construction in a way that fulfills the requirement of properties required.

All of them have different properties. Their unique properties make them ideal for various types of construction. Out of all the types of sand, here we will learn about the major differences between natural sand or river sand and M-sand or artificial sand.

Importance Of Sand In Construction

It is one of the most used materials in construction. Usage of sand determines the strength and durability of the resulting structure. Sand is used to avoid contaminated products mixed with clay, top soil, or vegetation.

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If impure sand is used, it affects the formation of proper bonds between the cement and the sand. The structures constructed out of poor sand concrete or material would not be as strong and sturdy like it was constructed with the good quality strength. So, it is important to use the proper quality of sand in construction.

Sand is an important building material. It can be used for various purposes like:

  • It is mixed with cement to form mortar for plaster and for joining masonry or bricks.
  • A combination of coarse aggregates, sand, and cement forms concrete, which is used to construct structural elements like beams, columns, and slabs.
  • A mixture of sand and cement is also used to make screed for flooring.

What Is River Sand?

River sand is a type of sand obtained naturally from the river beds or riverbank. The river sand is also known as natural sand. Natural sand is easily available in the market and is widely used in construction projects.

Its shape is cubical and angular and it has a rough texture due to which its bonding is excellent with other ingredients of concrete and mortar.

River sand is used as fine aggregates in concrete, which is a chief and important material used for construction of columns, beams, slabs, etc.

Due to its unique qualities, the demand for natural sand is increasing day by day. Due to the increase in demand, the river sand is getting scarce.

Advantages Of River Sand

The advantages of river sand are as follows:

  • River sand is natural sand.
  • It is easily available in the market.
  • Natural sand is the most preferred sand for construction purposes.
  • It is relatively cheaper.

Disadvantages Of River Sand

Disadvantages of river sand are as follows:

  • Higher cost of transportation if the river is far away.
  • Cement requirement is more.
  • Due to the presence of silt and clay in natural sand, the setting time is reduced and it also holds the dampness.


  • River sand is recommended to manufacture concrete.
  • It is used in mortar. Mortar is used for plastering the structural elements, filling brick/block joints.

What Is M-Sand?

M-sand is the artificially manufactured sand. M-sand is the short name for manufactured sand. It is produced by crushing the rocks or granite to the desired size. The physical and mineralogical properties of artificial sand are different from natural sand.

Due to the increasing scarcity of natural sand, earth scientists are now recommending using artificial sand for construction. The strength and chemical characteristics of artificial sand or M-sand are somewhat similar when compared with natural sand.

Advantages of M-sand

The advantages of M-sand are as follows:

  • M-sand is an environment friendly material.
  • It offers properties like high durability and strength to concrete by overcoming deficiencies like segregation, bleeding, and honeycombing.
  • The cohesion of M-sand is higher.
  • Particles of uniform size are available.

Disadvantages Of M-sand

  • M-sand contains a large quantity of micro-fine particles. These particles affect the strength of concrete.

Applications Of M-sand

M-sand or artificial sand is highly recommended for concrete and masonry blocks and brick joining.

Difference Between M Sand And River Sand

The difference between river sand and M-sand are as follows:

River Sand M Sand
1.It is naturally available. It is artificially manufactured in the factory.
2.It does not contain silt particles. It contains silt particles.
3.River sand is costlier than M-sand.M-sand is relatively cheaper.
4.The particles of river sand are non-uniform.Uniform particles of sand are obtained as it is manufactured in the factory.
5.Due to the presence of other particles and stones, wastage has to be removed using a sieve.No wastage particles in M-sand.
6.It causes damage to the environmentIt is an eco-friendly material.
7.Due to the scarcity of river sand, there are chances that you may get adulterated sand.The chances of adulterated sand are very less.
8.It is always not possible that you get river sand from a close distance.M-sand can also be manufactured near the construction site.
9.Moisture is present in natural sand as it is obtained from the river beds or river banks.Absence of moisture content.

Also Read

Types Of Sand Used In Construction

How To Check Sand Quality In Field

How To Calculate Cement, Sand For Plastering

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