Research and Development

At Rock Trade Industries we are committed to developing innovative practices and products that match with our core values and philosophy of sustainability through investment, distinguished research and development, innovation and practice.

Over the past four years, we have partnered with Joy Global, Colas, the University of Queensland and the Global Change Institute in an effort to develop new and innovative products that meet with demands of modern construction.

Sandstone is a beautiful material that has been used over many generations to construct some of the world’s most prestigious buildings. In the modern era it continues to be a highly sort after material, used by designers and the construction industry alike for its prestige and decorative properties.

With sandstone you never know what you will find until you unpack a seam. This usually means a lot of waste when a seam doesn’t meet the requirements. In fact, most sandstone quarries utilise just 20 per cent of their mined stone, with the rest left in waste piles scarring the environment.

We don’t think this standard is good enough. Which is why we set a goal to redefine mining practices through responsible land rehabilitation and a target of 100% utilisation of our resource. These targets have energised our research and development program and have resulted in 100% of all resources from our Waterfall Quarry being turned into high quality products that are in demand by industry.




Releasing Quartz Crystals from Sandstone

Natural Sand is in great demand as the key ingredient for concrete and asphalt. Traditionally it has been derived from natural rivers, streams, estuaries or dune deposits.  After centuries of use, sand around the world is now in limited supply.

Rock Trade Industries has discovered the process to release quartz crystals, that is natural sand, from sandstone through advanced manufacturing technologies and processes.

Petrographic tests have determined this material to be clean, medium, grained natural lithic quartzose sand.  It is classed as a premium product and is in high demand by the asphalt and concrete industries.

Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has approved this product as a natural sand and has granted approval for its use in concrete and asphalt as a 2.36mm fine aggregate.

Road Base V2.36

The results of an intense research and development program, and the implementing of advanced crushing technology, has enabled Rock Trade Industries to engineer road bases to rigid specifications and quality standards. Road base consists of course, and fine aggregate particles, shape and hardness of the aggregate is critical to the production of high quality hard wearing road surface.

Also important is the type of fines material used as a binder. Rock Trade Industries produce individual finished products that meet the specification for grading, strength and shape, plasticity index, lineal shrinkage, fines ratio, durability and workability. When blended at the appropriate percentages, it produces a high quality, easily worked road base for various applications. Moisture content is also critical to the successful compaction of the material and all road base material is supplied close to optimum moisture level reducing the requirement of water to be transported to site. Through this process Rock Trade Industries have successfully developed specialised road base material for unsealed roads that when laid correctly, provides a well bound durable non-slip surface, with reduced dusting, resulting in a very long-lasting road surface.

Arena Sand

Future collaboration with the University of Queensland Agricultural Faculty, Racing Queensland, and Rock Trade Industries will seek to create a new racing surface sand, re-engineered to minimise injury for horses and their riders.  Significant gains have already been made in the development of blending techniques to produce a revolutionary blend of materials designed specifically for equestrian eventing.  Currently three equestrian arenas are testing the impacts of this innovative product and its value to a multibillion dollar global industry.

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