How Is Glass Manufactured?

In this article, we are going to discuss how is glass manufactured.

Transparent, twinkling, beautiful glass has been used to make decorative items such as vessels, flower pots, jewellery, etc as well as useful items in our everyday life such as mirrors windows, furniture, bulbs of different types, containers, bottles, etc. In fact, there is hardly any area where glass is not used in today’s world.

Surprisingly the art of making glass has been known to man since ancient times. Glass beads were made in 2,500 B.C. and were found in Egypt. A colored glass rod found in Babylonia is even older. It was made in 2,600 B.C. The art of making glass must have been known to them since or even before this time.

The basic ingredients which are used in making ordinary glass are silica, sodium carbonate, and calcium carbonate. All these constituents are finely powdered, mixed, and then melted together in a big furnace. The melted mixture becomes homogenous and is then cooled. Materials like silica do not crystallize but remain in an amorphous state when heated and cooled like this. The result is transparent, hard, and Brittle glass.

Special kinds of glass have other ingredients added to the basic mixture. Boron oxide, magnesium oxide, aluminum oxide, zinc oxide, and lead oxide are some of the commonly used materials in making glasses with different special properties. To add color to the glass oxides of chromium, copper, iron, cobalt, etc are added according to the requirement.

Fibers of glass are found very useful in research and modern technology. Scientists have developed transparent glass as strong as steel. Another special glass has been produced which changes colors when light falls on it. Glass wool made from glass fibers is used for thermal insulation in walls, tanks, boilers, and refrigerators.

Also Read: What Is Radio Astronomy?

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