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Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass is a type of glass that includes at least 5% boric oxide. The boric oxide makes the glass resistant to extreme temperatures, and also improves its resistance to chemical corrosion. This property makes borosilicate ideal for lab use, including tubes, beakers and graduated cylinders. Many scientific lenses for microscopes and telescopes are made from borosilicate glass.


Gorilla Glass

This glass was first manufactured by the Corning Company and is made out of an alkali-aluminosilicate sheet. The chemicals used in the makeup of this glass include Aluminium Oxide, Calcium Oxide and Magnesium Oxide. In this day and age where everyone carries a Smartphone, a Tablet or an MP3 Player, this thin scratch and shock resistant glass comes in handy. Making requires incredible temperatures with specially designed equipment and robotics along with molten hot salt bath to finish the thin strip of super glass.


Tempered Soda Lime Glass

Soda-lime glass can be chemically strengthened to increase mechanical strength or heat strengthened/tempered to increase thermal shock resistance and mechanical strength. Glass bake ware is often made of tempered soda-lime glass

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Soda Lime Glass

Soda-lime glass, also called soda-lime-silica glass, is the most prevalent type of glass, used for windowpanes and glass containers (bottles and jars) for beverages, food, and some commodity items. Soda lime glass can't tolerate temperature fluctuation as borosilicate but it is not a problem as long as you follow safety instructions. Soda-lime glass is relatively inexpensive, chemically stable, reasonably hard, and extremely workable. Because it is capable of being softened and re-melted numerous times, it is ideal for glass recycling.


Commercial Glass

This is referred to the glass that is mounted onto tall skyscrapers and high end homes. The glass usually comes in two forms; Heat Soaked Glass - widely popular because it withstands weather, chemical used when cleaning and scratching. Self Cleaning Glass - Slightly more expensive this glass cleans dust particles and smudges on the glass using natural elements like UV rays and Rain. Since 80% of UV rays still get through even on cloudy days, this could be worth investing in for big buildings.


Alkali-barium Silicate Glass

This is the type of glass that everyone of us in today's world can't live without. It is the glass used to in our television screens and is protects our eyes from the harmful X-Rays that could cause long term health issues. It is mostly the Barium mixed in during manufacture that absorbs the harmful rays.


Glass Ceramics

Commercially used glass ceramics are when the outcome is of uniformed size and the crystals that make up the bulk become non-oriented. To make glass ceramic a high density of crystalline nuclei has to be part of the structure. This can be achieved through the addition of Titania, Zirconia and Phosphorus Pentoxide.


Optical Glass

Optical glass or crown glass is used in lenses and other optical devices because of its low refractive index and low dispersion. When designing these glasses especially when lenses will be used in harsh environments, manufacturers will test with altered levels of chemicals, mechanical, and thermal properties.

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Historical Facts

Obsidian (Naturally made volcanic glass) was used by prehistoric man in the Stone Age as tools for hunting, cutting and even jewellery among other things. As of now the oldest ancient Obsidian bracelet found dates back to at least 7500 Before Christ.

According to a Roman historian called Pliny (AD 23-79), the first time man made glass was back in 5000 BC by Phoenician merchants in Syria

More manmade glass can be found in Egypt and western Mesopotamia at around 3500 BC. This is credited to Phoenician merchants and sailors spreading their discovery across the Mediterranean.

By 1600 BC man-made glass items, along with glass vessels have been discovered across the world in Egypt, Greece (Ancient Mycenae), China and North Troll

One of the earliest Egyptian glass vessels unearthed bears the name of Egyptian Pharaoh Thoutmosis III that dates around the period of 1504-1450 BC.

Glass making techniques spread from Alessandria to Italy. This also led to a rise in glass making and a subsequent decline. By the time 700 BC rolled out manmade glass was making a rise again in Mesopotamia, Egypt and other countries along the coast of the Mediterranean.

650 BC dates to the oldest known glass making manual discovered in tablets under the order of Assyrian King Ashurbanipal (669-626 BC).

Between the years of 27 BC and 14 AD Syrian craftsmen invent the technique of glassblowing. The long metal tube that is in use now is almost the same as it was back in the day.

By the 1st century before Christ, the Roman Empire used the blowing of glass into moulds and during their empire the techniques of glass making spread into countries under their vast empire. Through the Silk route Roman glass work can be found in China.

100 AD – Manganese Oxide is used in glass making in Alessandria. This starts a revolution in glass windows and can be found in elite roman architecture.

With the decline in the Roman civilisation the spread of glass making techniques declined, however even at 1000 AD the capital city Alessandria was the heart, colour and life of the glass making movement.

With the difficulty of importing Raw Materials glass making took a difference with the material used to make glass. For instance, glass made in heavy forest region used Potash from burning trees whereas Italy and Mediterranean countries used Soda Ash.

The 11th century saw German glass smiths introduce a technique for glass sheets.

This technique was further developed by Venetian craftsmen by the 12th century and slowly but sure over the span of a few hundred years the glass making centre of the world moved to Venice which had 8000 craftsmen at work there at a point.

Most glass making was made in the city of Venice and regular fires prompted authorities to shift the focus onto the island of Murano by 1291 AD. This was also favourable with their intentions to keep their techniques a secret.

The 14th century gave rise to glassmaking in the city of Altare near Genoa where more techniques were developed

Glass workers in Murano started to use quartz sand and Potash made from burning Sea Plants to create a particularly pure crystal during the 15th century. This is credited to a Venetian glass blower Angelo Barovier.

In the 16th century craftsmen from Altare helped spread Venetian techniques to other parts of Europe namely France and even England.

Once in England by 1674 a glass worker by the name of George Ravenscroft patented the invention of a lead crystal used in the making.

1608 – USA builds their first glass factory in Jamestown, Virginia.

1688 – See France introduce a new technique for making plate glass. This was used mainly in the advance of mirrors.

Over the next hundred year’s glass moved from a craft to an industry with systems put in place to mass produce through automation.

In the 19th century German Scientist Otto Schott (1851-1935) used scientific methods to understand the effect of different chemicals that can be used to make the different types of glass.

Otto Schott teamed up with his German colleague Ernst Abbe (1840-1905) one of the owners of Carl Zeiss to make further technological advances in the understanding of glass.

The 19th century also saw Freidrich Siemens invent the tank Furnace increasing the quantity of molten glass that can be produced.

The end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century saw Michael Owens (1859-1923) with the backing of William. L. Libbey invent a machine for blowing bottles in Ohio, USA.

1905 - A Belgian named Fourcault managed to invent a method for producing accurate flat glass.

In 1910 French scientist Edouard Benedictus invents and patents a stronger flat glass called 'Triplex'.

By 1914 flat glass was mass produced for commercial purposes.

After the second world war, the Pilkington Brothers from Britain developed the float process of producing flat glass in 1959.

In 1960 Corning invented the now famous Gorilla Glass. Upgraded versions of the 1960s version is what we find in most of our Smartphone's today.

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