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November 05, 2018 • Mike Huber

OSHA Compliant. ASTM C-144. You see it on our bags but what does it mean?

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OSHA Compliant. ASTM C-144. We put this language on our polymeric sand bags but what does it actually mean? In this blog post, we’ll explain how our products were tested and why it’s important to you as the end user.

(Photo courtesy of Unilock)


Quality is our strength. That’s our tagline at Alliance and we take it seriously. From the research and development stages all the way through final testing, we strive to deliver the highest quality hardscape products on the market. And quality extends beyond the performance of the product … it means we also take the necessary steps to ensure they’re safe for you to use.

OSHA Compliant
All of the colors in our Supersand, Supersand G2, Maxx, and Maxx G2 product lines have been tested by a third-party to ensure they meet OSHA’s Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) Standard for Construction.

“Crystalline silica is a common mineral that is found in construction materials such as sand, stone, concrete, brick, and mortar. When workers cut, grind, drill, or crush materials that contain crystalline silica, very small dust particles are created. These tiny particles (known as “respirable” particles) can travel deep into workers’ lungs and cause silicosis, an incurable and sometimes deadly lung disease.” (OSHA)

To test our polymeric sand products, true field installations were performed by a third-party. This included pouring, sweeping, compacting, as well as blowing for the older versions of our sand. Contractors wore monitoring devices during each application to collect any respirable particles and the results were analyzed by a third-party engineering test lab.

In conclusion, in all cases the Alliance Designer Products polymeric sand products are significantly below the OSHA Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) exposure limit.

ASTM C-144
ASTM C-144 is the ICPI standard gradation specification for joint sand.

“This specification covers aggregate for use in masonry mortar. Aggregate for use in masonry mortar shall consist of natural sand or manufactured sand. Manufactured sand is the product obtained by crushing stone, gravel, or air-cooled iron blast-furnace slag specially processed to ensure suitable gradation. Aggregate for use in masonry mortar shall be graded within the limits prescribed. The amount of deleterious substances in aggregate for masonry mortar, each determined on independent samples complying with the grading requirements. Except as herein provided, aggregate subjected to five cycles of the soundness test shall show a loss, weighted in accordance with the grading of a sample complying with the limitations set forth. A density test shall be performed. The air content of mortars shall be calculated.” (ICPI)

Why is gradation important? Well, when a product meets the specification, it means that it features a good blend of strength and usability. For use as a jointing sand, this ensures that there will be a balance of large particles that are strong enough to endure traffic and small particles that will be able to get deep down into the joints.

This blend of different sized particles also helps to minimize void space and create a densely packed material that provides great interlock as well as helping to increase the strength and water resistance of a polymeric sand.

All Alliance Designer Products polymeric sands have been tested and meet the standard gradation specification for ASTM C-144.

The bottom line: you can feel safe and confident using all of our polymeric sand products. If you have further questions on this topic, don’t hesitate to contact us!


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