Posted by Melissa on 7/22/2013
Glass has been used throughout history for many different purposes. From industrial use to home use glass is an important part of everyday life. Glass is very simple and very financially beneficial to make. The main ingredients of glass are silica -or quartz- sand, sodium carbonate, and calcium oxide. The only tools needed are a kiln, a durable container, and a mold to shape glass. Other chemicals can be used to change color or strength of glass depending on what the glass is being used for.
Once the main ingredients have been gathered for glass, they must be placed in a heat resistant container and heated until it has melted into a liquid. To maintain the glass and keep it from having bubbles, it must be almost constantly stirred. While it is being stirred, the chemicals for color and strength may be added. It is important to keep it at a consistent texture during stirring. When all the bubbles have dissipated and all chemicals have been added, the glass is ready to be formed. To get glass in the desired shape it can be poured into a mold, blown through the opposite end of a tube, or poured into molten tin and polished with nitrogen. Which method is used depends upon the future purpose of the glass. The glass is then cooled simply by waiting and heat treated to get rid of any stress points created during the cooling process. Optional steps to improve glass are coating and lamination.
The process for making glass is simple and somewhat time-efficient. Although it is an easy process, it takes an experienced person to get it right every time. Practice is key in becoming an expert at glass making and a great place to start is as an apprentice or in a class.