Every day we are surrounded by the glass, we see it everywhere and usually do not give it a second thought but where would the modern world be without this fascinating substance? From the windows of our houses to food jars and the glass in our mirrors, it’s really is everywhere. So, what is it, how is it made and why do we use it so much?
Glass is produced when sand and minerals melt together at very high temperatures. Glass is a natural occurrence, forming in a volcanos mouth when the eruption temperature melts, resulting in the production of Obsidian sand, a rock-hard black glass. This glass was even used as spear tips for the weapons of early man. During glass production, temperatures reach1700 degrees and other materials can be added to create different coloured glass. While still in the form of a liquid, the glass can be moulded into different shapes, for example, for windows, car windows or even ornaments. Ready for a new look for your home? For brand-new glazing, consider a Glass suppliers and glaziers Bristol at a site like Roman Glass, leading Glass suppliers and glaziers Bristol.
Another fantastic fact about glass is that it is also very environmentally friendly because it is completely recyclable and can be used an unlimited number of times without suffering any loss of quality. In fact, artificial glass was discovered by archaeologists dating back to 4000 BC. From the 1st century BC, glass blowing became the most common way to make glass containers and people in the UK continued to study elements of glass-making as learned when the Romans arrived.
An important milestone in the process of making glass was made by a man named George Ravenscroft, who introduced the use of lead. There was a need to cancel the effect of clouding which often happened in brown glass, so he introduced lead to the raw materials used in the making process. The result is that the glass is softer, more refractive and shines bright and beautiful. As a direct result of his actions, important progress could be developed in optical lenses, microscopes and telescopes, for example.
Glass-making in the current era is a highly modern industry where quality and design are essential to remain competitive. Glass plants are capable of producing millions of containers of glass a day. Glass containers are very complex because they must be watertight, airtight and transparent. It protects the content of oxygen, moisture and prevents decay and bacteria. We cannot imagine life without glass, which is literally everywhere – when we eat and drink, turn on the lights, use our phones and get into the car. Therefore, its recycling ability is fantastic, and it is doubtful we will ever see a decline in the use of this versatile material.
Did you know that the energy saved from recycling just one bottle could power a computer for 25 minutes, the TV for 20 minutes and a washing machine for 10 minutes! If every household recycle all their glass for a year, can turn on the computer for 5 days!
Glass is a bit of an enigma though. It is strong enough to protect us but fragile enough to shatter easily, opaque like sand but completely transparent – glass is a bit of a mystery. Glass is also both a solid and liquid at the same time!