Wherever you look or go, you’re certainly going to see glass in all sizes, shapes and colors. The funny thing about it is that not only is it hard enough to protect us, but at the same time it can also be shattered quite easily.
Also, glass is made from opaque sand, but you can see right through it. But the most surprising trait of it is that it actually behaves like a solid material. So with that being said, let’s waste no more time with the intro and learn more about glass in the paragraphs below.
What is glass?
First of all, you should know that glass is made from liquid sand and the way you can make it is by heating regular sand to a high temperature until it starts to melt and turns into liquid. However, no matter how hot it may be outside, it won’t be enough to melt sand. That’s because sand can only melt at a whopping seventeen hundred degrees Celsius.
So what happen is that when sand melts, it’s going to completely change its structure and no matter how much you’d try to cool it after that, it won’t set into a solid.
Glass has become very popular worldwide and it’s used for a wide range of applications thanks to its very useful properties. Not only is it simple to shape when it’s molten, but glass is also resistant to heat, it’s cheap to make and is also transparent. On top of that, it can be recycled many times, which means it’s environmentally friendly.
Keep in mind that when it comes to glass, it can also be used for recycling other materials. For instance, uranium glass has a very strange yellow green color and it also shines in UV light. These types of glass pieces are rare and they’re usually made using uranium from nuclear factories.
How is glass made?
Probably the first time when humans realized that glass can be made from sand is when a team of scientists from the United States tested an atomic bomb in the desert, which, after it exploded, turned the sand at the impact site into glass. The good news is that there are much easier ways of making glass, yet regardless of the chosen method, each of them requires a lot of heat.
For instance, when glass is made in commercial plants, waste glass and sand are mixed together with limestone and soda ash in a furnace. The result of mixing these ingredients together is a soda lime silica glass that you can see everywhere around you.
After the sand has melted, it’s going to be poured into special molds so that glasses, bottles and other glass items can be made. It can also be poured to make extremely flat sheets of glass which are going to be used for windows. When it comes to the unusual glass containers, they’re generally made using a method known as blowing. The way this works is that a lump of glass (molten) is first of all wrapped around an open pipe that is then rotated slowly. Through one of the pipe’s open ends air is blown which causes the glass to swell like a balloon. This is a pretty interesting method that can be used in order to make a wide range of interesting shapes.
Based on the type of glass they need to make, glass makers will use different processes. In general, other chemicals will be added in order to change the properties or maybe the appearance of the finished glass. One example is when they need to make green tinted glass: to make it, they need to add chromium and iron based chemicals to the molten sand.
On the other hand, when it comes to bulletproof glass, the process of making it is a bit different. It requires sandwiching together several layers of plastic and glass that are bonded together. But if you’re curious about the way the toughened glass used in car windshields is made, they make it by swiftly decreasing the temperature of molten glass. Colored glass (which is more commonly known as stained glass) is made by using metallic compounds when the glass is still in liquid form (molten). The various metals used will eventually give it different colors.
If you like Discovery channel this video will show you How Glass is Made –