Facts about glass

Glass is all around us everyday of our lives but how much do we really know about this substance that we see and use so often? Here are just a few interesting facts about glass, so you can show off next time you’re doing the pub quiz!

It’s all natural

Glass is made by melting minerals together at very high temperatures. One of the main ingredients is silica, a type of sand and it is this which will melt at high temperatures with limestone and soda ash. For coloured glass, other materials can be added to the furnace during the melting stage. Glass can even be made by nature, such as when lightning strikes the silica in sand.

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More than 5,000 years of history

Humans have been making glass for more than 5,000 years. Archaeologists have discovered layered glass beads dating back to 4000 BC. In about 1500 BC the ancient Egyptians started making glass bottles. While the glass in your home will not be that old, if your windows are getting on a bit, they might not be as efficient or safe as they used to be! For up a little, it may not be safe and secure as it used to. For Glass suppliers and glaziers Gillingham, contact a company like Roman Glass, leading Glass suppliers and glaziers Gillingham.

Glass is ideal for packaging

Containers made of glass are very effective in keeping things airtight and watertight all in a transparent environment. Glass is also available in vacuum sealed or high-pressure packaging, which helps to keep goods away from oxygen and moisture entry and thus preventing spoilage and bacterial risks.

Super lightweight glass containers

Glass containers are now 40% lighter than they were just two decades ago and scientists are constantly working to make them even lighter!

The importance of recycling

Glass is a perfect example of sustainability. You can recycle glass time and again without ever losing any purity or clarity. Every ton of glass to be recycled means 1.2 tons of raw materials do not need to be mined or quarried.

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Energy-saving materials

Recycling your old glass means much less energy is used because there is no need to mine for new materials. Just the action of recycling a single glass bottle can save enough energy to do the following:

Run a computer for  between 20 and 30 mintutes

Power a colour television for 20 minutes

Power a washing machine for 10 minutes

Recycling of glass for one year can:

Run a computer for 5 days

Power a colour television for 4.5 days

Power a washer for 2.5 days

To produce coloured glass, small amounts of various natural dyes called oxidants can be added:

Blue glass – is made by adding cobalt oxide. Only a small amount is required, only a few parts per million. This creates a light blue colour and is often seen in water bottles.

Green glass – these are made with the addition of non-toxic chromium oxide. The more you add, the darker the green.

Yellow glass – this is the most common coloured glass and is produced by mixing iron, carbon and sulphur in the liquefaction stage.


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