How is glass manufactured? what types of glass are there?

How is glass manufactured? what types of glass are there?
OKC Glass Company Oklahoma


Glass has played a very important role in the development of technology and in the current perception of nature. Glass can make microscopes with which microorganisms were discovered and also the telescopes with which the Universe can be observed. The truth is that the glass has a wide variety of uses and thanks to its versatility it is worth knowing a little more this type of materials.

Glass comes from clay or silica sand

Glass is obtained from a mixture of silica sand or clay with pulverized dry metal oxides that are introduced into a fusion reactor at temperatures exceeding 1000oC. During this fusion process, the mixture forms a viscous liquid that becomes transparent and that when cooled becomes consistent so it can be shaped.

Clay is a material that is obtained as a result of the erosion of the Earth's surface as a result of the action of water, wind, glaciers and earthly movements.

Types of glass by composition

Due to the wide variety of clays that exist in the world, the type of glass that will be obtained will depend on the clay used. The types of glass that exist according to their composition are:

Sodium-calcium glass

This type of glass is made up of silica, sodium and calcium. Without calcium, glass would be water soluble, so it would be virtually useless. This type of glass is used to make the windows of buildings.

Lead glass

In this type of glass calcium is replaced by lead, the result is a glass as transparent as the previous one but much denser so it has a greater refractive and dispersion power. These properties allow it to be used as optical glass, that is, they are excellent for making cameras. It is a glass with which it can be worked at lower temperatures and can be easily engraved.

Borosilicate glass

Borosilicate glass is often used to make cooking utensils for placing in the oven or laboratory materials. Its composition of silica and boron, mainly, make it a very resistant material to heat and temperature changes.

Silica glass 

Perhaps it is the purest glass that exists, with 96% silica, you get the hardest and hardest glass to work with. They are very stable glass, with a softening temperature above 1,500oC so it is used to manufacture materials that require exceptional heat resistance, such as oven glass, germicidal lamps, ultraviolet filters or crucibles.