Glass is all around us but most of us dont give it much thought. The widely used and very versatile material is made by melting several minerals together at extremely high temperatures. Sand is the main component, along with limestone and soda ash. We all know glass is used to make bottles, glasses and ornaments but what about some of its more unusual applications? Glass production can be altered to create different forms of glass with different properties and here we take a look at some of the applications of different types of glass:
This type of glass is incredibly strong and durable. It can also withstand extreme changes in temperature without effect. Things made from this form of glass include Pyrex cookware and glass used in laboratory experiments. This glass can also withstand conditions of an abrasive nature so are often used in lighting components due the durability and lack of surface wear it demonstrates.
Borosilicate glass is also used a great deal in the transport and industrial industries due to its ability to resist damage from exposure to harsh chemicals, petroleum, jet fuel and even constant water pressure. This is why it is used in lab experiments, industrial machinery, aircraft and even explosion-proof lighting methods.
Soda-lime Silica Glass
This glass is most commonly found in the household in things like jars, bottles, food containers and accessories. It is the most commonly found glass, making up about 90% of the worlds glass production. This is also the glass seen in our windows at home. For Double Glazing in Northampton, visit http://www.absolutewindowsolutions.co.uk/.
Its cheaper to make than other forms of glass as the materials used are both common and can be fused together by melting at a lesser heat. Automated production has made it very quick to produce on mass too. Soda-lime Silica glass is not as strong as other glass compositions and is affected by thermal shock and chemical corrosion.
This type of glass is not so effective against chemicals but has a high resistance to hydrofluoric acid. The make-up of the glass can be altered to make it stronger against chemical corrosion but this glass has its uses as its the best for adding colourants to.
Phosphate glass is therefore used for quite selective things such as applications in scientific, medical and military fields. This type of glass is cleverly used in the medical industry to promote bone growth for example!
Where else can we find glass?
Thin glass is found in microscope lenses, cosmetic mirrors, mobile and tablet touchscreens, glass displays and telecoms equipment. Youll also find it in a huge array of appliances such as oven doors, office items, refrigerators, dishwashers and photocopiers.
Glass is used in the design of our furniture, from coffee tables, TV units and shelves to lighting, bookcases and ornaments. Outside youll find it as sheltered bus stops, traffic lights, telephone booths and advertising stands. Glass is also highly effective in protecting from some forms of radiation so youll also find leaded glass in x-ray rooms, designed to protect the operators from constant radiation exposure.