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The researchers during one of their surveys.
DOHA: The first research paper in Qatar which explores the properties of local construction sand to ensure proper use of a key resource in the construction industry has been published.
The research by Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC) in collaboration with Qatar University and Texas A&M University at Qatar explores characterisations of dune sand and construction sand.
The study recommended selective mining as a means to upgrade the quality of construction sand.
The findings from the research and its implications were shared with the Qatar Sand Treatment Plant, a key industry player, to help set a standard best practice for the construction industry.
The paper was authored by Dr Marwa Al Ansary, Senior Environmental Lead, Qatar Shell; Dr Michael Poppelreiter, Learning Adviser Production Geology, Shell Netherland; Asia Al Jabry, Qatar University, and Dr Srinath Iyengar, Manager Research Instrumentation and Central Materials Facility at Texas A&M University at Qatar.
It was peer reviewed by the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) and subsequently published in the Elsevier Publication’s International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, a leading industry journal.
“Sand is a key resource for the construction industry, therefore it is important that we ensure it is used efficiently since it has a major impact on construction projects,” said Youssif Saleh, General Manager, Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre. “This was also a great opportunity to contribute to the local construction industry to ensure the continued development of Qatar’s infrastructure.”
The paper investigated two types of naturally occurring construction sand in Qatar, known as fluvial and aeolian dune. The aim of the study was to come up with an initial characterisation and comparison of these sands by linking their characteristics to geological processes.
The study included a rigorous testing programme comprising geological, physical, chemical and microstructure tests, which were benchmarked against Qatar’s construction standards.
“The finding from this paper has been validated by experts in the field and we are proud to share this research with the industry to ensure continued growth and development of Qatar’s infrastructure,” said Dr Mariam A Al Maadeed, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Director of Centre for Advanced Materials at Qatar University.
“The paper includes technical data that is of high value to researchers and engineers.”