What is glass?

So what is glass exactly? The Flintstones and glass have something in common. That’s right – since the Stone Age societies have been making use of glass. Archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass production took place in Ancient Egypt. At some point glass must have been ‘discovered’.

Glass can be manmade or found in nature. It’s a solid material known to be fragile and transparent composed mostly of sand and alkali. However soda, ash and limestone are also often used in the manufacturing process.

Glass production takes place when the sand and alkali (or other materials) are fused at a high temperature. The solid structure is formed when the fusion is rapidly cooled. As this is done quickly the process does not allow for the product to become a crystalline product. The crystalline form would be quartz. Scientifically, glass has a disordered and amorphous structure. In order to get various colours and change its properties other materials and oxides can be added.

Various types of glass, consisting of different materials, exist for a range of purposes. Glass is widely used from being an instrumental part of buildings and homes to electrical transmissions to optical equipment and home ware products.

Often used manmade glass includes commercial, lead and borosilicate glass. Commercial glass or soda-lime glass is one of the cheapest glass types available mostly used for jars, drinking glasses and windows. Lead glass has a high brilliance and a soft surface making it ideal for decorating purposes. Borosilicate glass is used for industrial chemical process plants, high-powered lamps and in laboratories.

Glass is fully recyclable and known to be one of the safest packaging materials. It is extremely durable and reliable as it does not corrode, stain or fade. Seems the Flintstones were onto something.

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