Not All Sand is the Same – Supplying Bog Mats to Oman


Based here in South Wales, you’d be forgiven for thinking that all our work is UK based. In fact, GJ Bogmats has a thriving export section. We are able to provide our bog mats and crane mats internationally, and have recently been involved in a couple of major projects abroad.

Working in the desert in Oman presented our team with particular challenges from the point of view of climate and the geography – very different from the green valleys of home… We are supplying 10,000 timber pipeline skids to a gas pipeline project, a very prestigious contract to be involved with. The pipeline skids are used to support the pipeline during installation and then during operation – yet another use for timber mats, and in this case, vitally important to ensure the successful supply of gas.

One thing we have learned as a result of our involvement in this project is that not all sand is the same. We thought we’d share 10 surprising facts that we’ve discovered about sand which you might be interested in.

  • The composition of mineral sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions. Sand also comes in a wide variety of colours – from the bright white sands of New Mexico to the black sands rich in magnetite found in volcanic areas such as the Canary Islands
  • Sand is defined by size, being finer than graveland coarser than silt
  • the most common constituent of sand silica- usually in the form of quartz, followed by calcium carbonate,
  • Calcium carbonate based sand is mostly created by various forms of life, likecoral and The process takes millions of years.
  • Not all sand is suitable for construction, and the increased demand for sand resources due to an increase globally in the need for more building has led to ‘sand wars’ and the attendant ecological and economic impact of natural resources running low.
  • Sand is the principal component in common glass
  • Sand used to be used as a thermal weapon – heated and poured on invading troops who dared to storm castles in the classical and medieval periods.
  • Some animals don’t have a proper skeleton of their own so they incorporate sand for structural strength
  • Sand can sing – get the conditions right, and sand of a certain size will produce a soundfrequency close to 450
  • Quicksand is a colloid hydrogel formed from sand and salt water in areas of high pore water pressure. People and animals caught in quicksand often find it almost impossible to escape from unaided.

Despite the challenges of working in desert conditions, we are delighted to be involved in this international project. Our logistics operation has meant smooth delivery, and the mats have stood up to the challenge of the tough environment. We are looking forward to working on similar projects where our experience we’ve gained of working with sand give us the advantage!

If you’d like to talk to us about our bog mats – whether you need them for an Omani desert or something a little closer to home, get in touch with us here at GJ Bogmats – we’re here to help.