Inorganic chemistry

Glass manufacturing process in 5 steps

Manufacturing of glass


Glass manufacturing process in 5 steps :

Manufacturing of glass
Manufacturing of glass

Manufacturing of glass in 5 steps is listed here.The first traces of glass objects date back almost 3,000 years BC. The major stages in the manufacture of this material, which can be as hard as it is fragile, have not changed much.

The basic component of glass manufacturing is the sand or, more precisely, the silica (SiO 2 ) it contains.

1.Sand casting (silica)

The problem is that silica has the annoying tendency to melt only at very high temperatures, above 1,700 ° C. So, to facilitate the process, add fluxes such as soda , potash or lime . We also add water and recycled glass debris which we call “  cullet  ”. All in very precise proportions.It is also at this stage that some additives are inserted which depend on the use that will be made of the glass:

  • magnesium oxide , for example, to make the glass more resistant;
  • iron oxide to give the glass a greenish tint.

The mixture is then placed in the oven and brought to a temperature of around 1,500 ° C. This is the temperature at which the sandy mixture turns into liquid glass .

2.Glass shaping (hot transformation)

Once melted, and before cooling, the glass can be shaped using different techniques. It can, for example, be blown, poured into a mold or even floated on a tin bath .

Hot processing is one of the stages in the production of glass.
Hot processing one step in manufacturing of glass

3.Glass heat treatment

The glass then generally needs to be reinforced by the application of a heat treatment . To eliminate the stress points which are installed during cooling , an annealing can be used at temperatures up to 600 ° C.

4.Tempering glass

To further improve the strength of the glass, it can be tempered. In this case, after being heated to around 600 ° C, the glass is rapidly cooled under the effect of a high pressure fan .

5.Glass recycling

Glass is one of the most easily recyclable materials . Indeed, recycled glass melts at much lower temperatures than silica and the addition of fluxes becomes superfluous. However, production from recycled glass requires at least 20% new raw material. In 2013, the glass recycling rate in France reached 74%.

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