Glass Blocks: How are they Made

how_are_glass_blocks_madeIn the paragraphs below we’re going to take a closer look at the process of manufacturing glass blocks in a step by step fashion. Glass bricks have been used for several decades now and while in the past they were a cornerstone of the Art Deco style of architecture, nowadays they’re really popular for creating amazing design features and wall windows for a wide range of property types. However, the good news is that not only do they look great, but at the same time they also insulate noise, cold and heat.

Step 1

There are 4 ingredients required in order to make glass blocks and they are limestone, soda ash, sand and cullet. Each ingredient is added in certain amounts by a computerized system and after that they’re fed into a large furnace that heats them up at twenty seven hundred degrees Celsius. After the ingredients get mixed together and molten, they will be poured in molds. The glass will then be spread in the molds and a pattern will be imprinted on them.

Step 2

However, they also need to be cooled down and that is why a blast of ambient air will get them from eighteen hundred degrees Celsius to eleven hundred degrees Celsius in just a few seconds. This will help them keep their new shape. Next, they will be laid on a conveyor belt and transported into a sealing machine that joins the blocks together in order to create a complete block. In order to ensure the glass temperature is kept constant, the block will then need to pass through several burners.

Step 3

The blocks will continue to be reheated until the edges start melting under. After that, they will enter the squeeze station where a machine will force the bottom half and top half together. As a result, the molten edges will create a single block by fusing together. As expected, the blocks will now have to be cooled down to about 175 degrees Celsius after which they are going to be inspected. The inspection is done using digital alignment gauges to ensure that both halves are completely flush.

Step 4

When it comes to building with glass blocks, it is a process that bears many similarities to using bricks and mortar. However, instead of mortar, a special type of liquid binder is going to be used in order to bind the glass blocks together.

galls_blocks_manufacturing_process

Lastly, a product code will be applied by a special inkjet printer which contains info about the QC department, the time when the blocks were produced and the manufacturing date. The seal between the 2 halves and the strength of the sidewall is also going to be checked by a worker just to make sure that the glass block falls within certain quality standards.

When the inspection is over, the glass blocks will be packaged using cardboard boxes and loaded into trucks so they can be transported to the clients who ordered them. Given the fact it’s easily malleable, glass can be designed in a wide range of shapes, sizes and patterns to fit the needs of anyone who wants to decorate their home in a unique and beautiful way.