/Glass is a multitalented material

Glass is a multitalented material

It plays many important roles in our everyday lives, in research and science, in modern architecture and in future sectors. New applications are being discovered all the time for the universal material of glass.

 

 

History and development

Glass is a material with a 9000 year history. Unlike bronze and iron, no epoch has been named after glass. Nevertheless, it is a material with prehistoric beginnings which was later produced in traditional craft and manufacturing establishments, and is now mass produced. Today, glass is a material with vast innovative potential that our everyday lives would be impossible to conceive without.

Glass production

For every type of glass – from moulded glass, through flat glass to tableware and special glass – there is a specialist glass factory or glassworks. This is because, although the production process is very similar for all glass types, they each have special production process requirements. There are usually six phases in the glass production process: mixing batches of raw materials, melting, refining, forming and cooling, quality inspection, finishing and packaging or palleting.

The first step in the glass making process is the preparation of a batch by mixing the correct quantities of raw materials in a mixer. A conveyor belt then transports the batch to the furnace where it is heated up to a temperature of around 1,200°C to melt it. This combines the raw materials and additives into molten glass.

 

 

 

To ensure that all the gases can escape from the molten glass so that there are no bubbles in the finished product, the molten glass is heated up further to a temperature of between 1,450°C and 1,650°C and a refining agent such as sodium sulphate (Glauber’s salt) or sodium chloride (table salt) is added. The higher temperature and refining agent cause all the gas bubbles to rise to the surface of the molten glass so that it is easier for them to escape. After refining, the molten glass is cooled and transported to the moulding machine. The bottles, car windscreens or special glasses that are produced in this way are then cooled in an annealing oven from around 600°C to 100°C before undergoing detailed quality checks to rule out defects and irregularities. In the next step the glass is finished. Various finishing techniques such as printing or engraving are applied before the products run through a final quality check and are put on pallets ready for shipment.

Contact

Bundesverband Glasindustrie e.V.
Am Bonneshof 5
40474 Düsseldorf

Phone: +49 (0)211/ 4796 - 134
Fax: +49 (0)211/9513 751
E-Mail: info(at)bvglas.de
Internet: www.bvglas.de