Glass – composition and properties

The components of glass

Glass is a high-quality, extraordinary and versatile material that possesses amazing properties. 

Glass is a material comprised of natural and nature-identical raw materials. Various substances such as soda (sodium carbonate), potash (potassium carbonate), limestone (calcium carbonate) and boron oxides are added to the main component of quartz sand (silicon dioxide). Silica, sodium oxide and calcium oxide are necessary for solidification and melting, as well as for corrosion protection.

Properties and facts about glass

These proportions vary depending on the application. Differences in chemical composition produce a large number of different types of glass, e.g. soda-lime glass and borosilicate glass. When making our little glass balls, we usually use borosilicate glass. All types of glass are heat-resistant up to a certain temperature. Borosilicate glass is the most resistant to large temperature fluctuations. The versatile material can also be transparent, translucent or even opaque, odorless, tasteless, hard, dense, cuttable, malleable yet remain dimensionally stable, provide sound insulation and be recyclable. Depending on the type of glass, it is also resistant to acidic and alkaline solutions, water, acids, alkalis and organic substances. When subjected to these substances for longer periods of time, glass‚ chemical resistance outshines most metals and other materials.

Colored glass

Glass can be dyed in order to give it a special shimmer. In order to achieve the desired coloration of the glass, various metal oxides and other substances can be used. These are melted together in a so-called pot furnace, in which the different colors emerge. For example, if iron oxides are added, the glass turns green to blue-green or even yellow, while it will turn yellow or brown-black in conjunction with manganese ore (manganese oxide). Even small amounts of metal oxides are sufficient to effect this change. However, the same color does not always result, which gives the glass its uniqueness. At the same time, metal oxides are not only used to obtain a desired color, they also assist in counteracting contamination of the raw materials.

Thanks to its broad range of properties, glass can be used in a wide variety of different areas such as technology, optics, medicine and interior design

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