Who would have actually guessed you can make glass by running high voltage power through sand?! ns was working on part experiments with a former student and he argued that us should try to run power through sand to see if it would melt the sand into glass. And, believe it or not, that worked! us made glass!


Glass is made from melted and recrystallized silicon dioxide. Sand is a mixture of little pieces of weathered rock and the key component in rock (and sand) is silicon dioxide (SiO2). In fact, these 2 elements, silicon and oxygen, room the most abundant aspects in the Earth's crust - 46.6% oxygen, 27.7% silicon. Therefore, glass is essentially recrystallized sand! I ended up being fascinated v glass and also its importance in society when ns was analysis "Stuff Matters" by note Miodownik, a book analyzing the products that form our lives - glass being among the most vital materials of our time.

You are watching: How to make glass from sand at home


How to develop high voltage come melt sand.


Microwaves use a high voltage transformer (buy one here) that takes 120 volts (in the US) and ramps it approximately 2000 volts (for the microwave in our experiment). We eliminated the transformer indigenous the microwave, included a cord for strength and collection up a contact in between the housing and also the ground. This high voltage electrical power can reason electricity to do things you might not expect it come do. You have the right to see in the video that a currently of electron is jumping from one end of the transformer to the copper wire at the other end. Together the electrons move through the air they develop a plasma of superheated gas that can conduct electricity.

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How go the high voltage melt sand right into glass?


Pure quartz, a mineral written of silicon dioxide, melts at 1,650 degC (3,002 degF). While we didn't have tools to measure up the temperature the the plasma, we have the right to conclude that us were getting to temperatures at or over 1,650 degC since the sand melted into a pole of glass.


How to make glass indigenous high voltage and also sand


Supplies:


Procedure:


Transformer: come see just how Quinn, mine collaborator because that this project, make the high voltage transformer, refer to the video clip above (CAUTION - high voltage is very dangerous - perform not effort to eliminate without help from a qualified professional)

Start v the positive lead attached to a nail placed in the sand. Be sure the ground wire is at the very least 12 inches from her hand ~ above a non-conductive rod. Plug in transformer.

Make a connection between the positive and ground inside the sand. Gradually pull the two apart, permitting the electric arc to continue to be intact. Proceed to pull apart.

When the arc 'breaks', revolve off power and enable to cool.

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