Glass has been used since ancient civilizations for decorative and functional purposes. It is versatile, durable and aesthetically pleasing, making it an ideal material for a wide variety of applications. However, due to its complexity and vulnerability, it requires a complex formula of materials and must be manufactured with expert care.
To produce glass, manufacturers must procure a selection of raw materials. A few of these materials include silica, soda ash, limestone and other specific additives that determine specific characteristics of glass.
Silica is a component found in nearly all types of glass, comprising up to 75% of total raw materials. It is found in either crystalline or amorphous forms and is added to mixture to give glass its strength. Silica is sourced in form of quartz and sand, as well as other minerals.
Soda ash also known as sodium carbonate, is another component found in glass. It lowers melting temperature of glass and acts as a binding agent for other elements. Soda ash is typically mined from natural deposits, however, it can also be produced synthetically.
Limestone is third most common component in glass. It is a type of sedimentary rock, composed primarily of calcium carbonate. Limestone is sourced from quarries and then heated to a high temperature in order to create a powder-like substance that is used to adjust pH levels in glass.
In addition to these three components, other specific additives are used in manufacture of glass. These additives can alter color, transparency or strength of glass and are typically sourced from mineral deposits or chemical compounds. For example, various metals, such as iron and lead, can be added to mixture to produce colored glass.
Manufacturers must carefully measure proportions of each material to produce desired glass product. It requires a precise chemistry and understanding of glass-making to properly combine necessary materials to produce a desired outcome.
Glass is a durable, aesthetically pleasing material that is used in many applications. With correct raw materials and expert care, manufacturers have potential to produce stunning and useful glass products. By procuring correct material, manufacturers are able to create a wide variety of glass products that surpass expectations of their customers.