Glass has end up being so commonplace today that it’s simple to see appropriate through it there is no a 2nd thought. The in our windows, on ours screens, in our cabinets, and also in countless of the gadgets we connect with every day. Also though glass deserve to be found everywhere, you may live your whole life not discovering much around how it’s made or what it’s written of. Also if girlfriend think you understand the basics, you’ve only skimmed the surface.

At a high level, glass is sand that’s been melted down and also chemically transformed. If you’ve ever before been to the beach, you know precisely how hot sand can get while staying in its hard form. The type of heat vital to change sand into a fluid state (eventually ending up being glass) is lot hotter than any type of sunny day. To do sand melt, you need to warmth it to roughly 1700°C (3090°F), i m sorry is around the same temperature a room shuttle reaches as it re-enters earth’s atmosphere.

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The sand commonly used to make glass is made up of little grains that quartz crystals, consisted of of molecule of silicon dioxide, i beg your pardon is additionally known as silica. As soon as those molecules space heated come high enough temperatures, the sand melts and loses that is crystalline structure, and also as that cools it gains one entirely different structure. The structure, on a molecule level, is what in between a liquid and a solid. This in-between state is known as one amorphous solid, which way it has actually some the the crystalline structure of a hard coupled v the molecule randomness the a liquid.


Depending on the sand mixture, glass deserve to have a variety of properties. Particular elements or chemicals blended with sand can change glass’s color, for example. Glass’s properties deserve to also change based on how it’s manufactured and also the processes through which it’s shaped afterward. To strengthen glass, manufacturers deserve to use thermal tempering come heat and cool it rapidly. Glass can additionally be strengthened chemically with an ion exchange process that renders the surface of the glass tougher.

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The glass most human being are acquainted with is soda-lime glass, i beg your pardon is a mix of soda (also recognized as soda ash or washing soda), limestone, and also sand. Although you can make glass just by heating and then promptly cooling silica, the manufacturing of soda-lime glass is a little more complex. By adding soda (sodium carbonate), the melting allude of the sand is decreased so it have the right to be transformed right into glass at reduced temperatures and also save energy during manufacturing. However, adding soda come the mixture reduces its chemistry durability, making it susceptible to dissolve when in contact with liquids. For many applications, that’s no desirable, so limestone (calcium carbonate) is also added to the mixture, i m sorry acts together a stabilizer. Once the mixture of silica, soda, and limestone is heated, it have the right to be cooled and also molded because that a variety of applications. 

At, we know glass. We know how to combine it through chemical processes favor ion exchange, and we know just how to bending it to do optical fiber that have the right to stretch over vast distances. Our expertise of glass walk back more than a century, enabling us to continue to be on the cutting edge of research and also development. From simple soda-lime to facility glass frameworks that allow augmented reality, glass is one adaptable, wide-ranging material. That’s why, after much more than 165 years, we’re tho making new discoveries. 

* is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the regular Table by spotlighting a couple of elements that are vital to our work, along with some of ours scientists" sentimental favorites.