Glass provides a multitude of different functions in everyday life. From more obvious functions, like the windows of your home, to more subtle ones, like the makeup of fiber optic cables, glass is a vital material for many reasons. Many people overlook the importance of glass in their lives, though it can be utilized in so many different ways. It can be useful to understand the ways in which glass impacts your life, as well as the process in which glass is created. The glass you notice most often is likely in the windows of your home. At Moyes Glass, we offer superior glass-related services to maximize the comfort and interior of your building. These various services can be used to fix broken windows, replace glass, or ensure that windows remain in the best condition possible.
What is Glass Made Of?
The specific formula that glass is made up of will depend primarily on the intended type of glass, as well as the properties that it requires. In general, glass is made up of a combination of formers, fluxes, and stabilizers. Formers are what make up the largest percentage of the glass. This is often silica sand that is heated until it melts. In fact, silica sand can form pretty sufficient glass on its own. However, the temperature at which sand melts is extremely high, which leads to exorbitant manufacturing expenses. This is where fluxes come in. Fluxes lower the melting point of the former, which makes it far more cost-effective to produce the glass. Sodium carbonate is most commonly used as the flux for a glass solution. However, fluxes also make the glass vulnerable to damage from water or exposure to other things. Silica sand melted with flux will dissolve when it is exposed to water.
Stabilizers are used to negate the negative effects of fluxes and strengthen the glass. They make the glass much stronger and water-resistant. Calcium carbonate (limestone) is often used as the stabilizer in glass. Commercial glass is generally made from silica sand, waste glass from recycled processes, sodium carbonate, and calcium carbonate. Other chemicals can be added to provide other properties to the glass. For example, magnesium oxide and aluminum oxide are often added to the makeup of glass. Iron can be used to strengthen the glass’s ability to successfully absorb heat. This is often used for glass that is exposed to heat, such as glass in a movie projector. Cerium oxide absorbs UV radiation which can go a long way toward improving the overall level of protection that the glass is able to provide.
Process of Making Glass
The process of making glass may fluctuate slightly depending on the purpose of the glass, the volume of production, and the necessary properties of the glass. In general, glass is made from melted sand. Each of the elements that create the glass are combined and then heated to its melting point. After the formula has melted, various techniques will be used for cooling to form the glass.
The molten glass may be poured into a mold to form a specific shape, which is often the method used to create bottles or other shapes. A common method used is to make “floated” glass. This involves pouring the molten mixture over a flat surface for cooling, which creates flat sheets from which windows can be cut. Glass blowing is another method for creating unique shapes, though it is a less effective method for mass production. Further processes may be used to strengthen the glass or provide other properties to the glass.
Types of Glass
Due to the diverse uses of glass, there are many different types of glass. Annealed glass is often used in double-glazed windows. Heat strengthened glass has a slower cooling process. This cooling process significantly strengthens the glass, which can ensure that it is more durable. Fully tempered glass does a similar thing, but it is cooled faster to add additional strength to the glass. Different coatings can also be implemented to glass to provide different properties for the glass.
Laminated glass is created by combining multiple layers of glass with a polymeric material. This polymeric material is bonded between the layers of the glass. This creates a thicker sheet of glass, as well as creates a UV proof and soundproof barrier. This often makes it the superior material for windows. Insulated glass is created with the use of multiple plies of glass. These plies are separated by a spacer and the space is then filled with air. This helps to create an insulated barrier that will be difficult for energy to leak out of. Insulated glass can significantly lower energy expenses when it is used for the windows of a building.
Uses of Glass
Glass is used in many different aspects of regular life. It is used to provide containers where food or liquids are stored. It is used for the windows in homes, commercial buildings, and automobiles. Glass helps to form electronics and fiber optic cables that are used to transfer data. Cups, glasses, tableware, mirrors, and more are all created with the use of glass. All of the various types of glass help to ensure the optimal functionality for each glass fixture. However, the multitude of glass products increases the likelihood of glass-related services being required. From replacement glass to implementing new glass products, there are many ways these services can benefit your home. Understanding how glass is used can help you determine the best ways in which to use it.
Here at Moyes Glass, we provide many services that are designed to enhance the condition of the glass fixtures in your home. We can provide superior window related services, as well as implement glass doors, mirrors, or more to your building. These services can help to repair your windows or keep them in the best possible condition. To learn more about the many services we offer and how they can be used to benefit your building, contact us at Moyes Glass today!