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What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Glass is a solid that is formed from a molten substance. Glass, from a physical standpoint, is an undercooled liquid. Glass is solid at room temperature, formable at around 1000°C and melts at temperatures ranging from 1400°C to 1650°C. There are many positive and practical properties of glass that make it an essential packaging material for foods, beverages and cosmetics, as well as innovative glass fiber optic cables for data transmission and practical glass ceramic cooktops. In this article, our main focus will be on the types of glass.

Glass is a material that is composed of natural and natural-looking raw materials. It is a melt product made from inorganic elements. It is dimensionally stable yet still formable. It does not interact with other materials. It is an inert, tasteless and gas tight packaging material which can be recycled too.

What is glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Glass is a transparent material that can be melted and shaped into solid shapes. It is composed of sand, soda ash and limestone, but other minerals such as silica and barium can be added to change its color, durability and thickness.

What is crystal?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Crystal glass is a clear material made from the same ingredients as glass, but with the addition of lead-oxide or metal-oxide. Because of the additional ingredients, the crystal retains its integrity even after being cut or blown. Crystal glass’s added ingredients make the material slightly porous, allowing it to refract light brilliantly. This, however, implies that the material is not dishwasher safe.

Crystal vs glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Crystal is widely regarded as being more refined than traditional glass. Crystal and glass are made of different materials: crystal having a higher shine and more intricate designs. While glass is made from liquefied sand. Crystal distinguishes itself with something called flint glass. This particular type of glass is made with lead rather than calcium. The additional lead oxide causes a higher level of refraction, or separates light more than regular glass. It also allows for more decorative properties to be added. Wine glasses with unusual designs are frequently lead crystal wine glasses.

While comparing glass and crystal, crystal is a type of glass that contains strengthening minerals such as lead oxide, potassium carbonate and silica to make the material more durable. Because of the increased strength, the crystal can be molded into thin, delicate shapes. Standard glass is typically made of sand, soda ash and limestone, which makes it strong but not as thin as crystal. Crystal can also refract light, whereas glass does not, making crystal more desirable for formal table settings and more expensive than glass.

Types of glass

There are numerous types of glass. They differ in terms of chemical composition, manufacturing method and processing behavior. In general, they are classified based on their chemical composition. Soda-lime glass, lead glass and borosilicate glass are all types of glass. These three types of glass account for approximately 95% of the cullet glass used in the manufacturing process. The remaining 5% of glass is specialized glass.

Glass can be manufactured with a variety of physical properties to meet a wide range of needs. The applications range from large industrial designs to simple domestic windows. We cater to everyone’s glass needs at Abbey Glass and our experts have compiled a useful list of the most common types of glass and what uses they may commonly have.

Borosilicate glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Sand accounts for 70 to 80 percent of the weight of borosilicate glass. Boron trioxide accounts for 7 to 13% of the total, sodium and potassium oxide account for 4% to 8% and aluminum oxide accounts for 2% to 7%. This glass is highly resistant to chemicals and temperature fluctuations. As a result, it is primarily used in chemical manufacturing, laboratories, for ampoules and bottles containing pharmaceuticals, to package injectable and as extremely durable lamp covers. In addition, borosilicate glass is used in the home for baking and soufflé dishes, as well as other heatproof kitchenware.

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Flat glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Flat glass is the basic first product of the glass-making float process. It has a consistent thickness and serves as the foundation for more advanced types of glass through further processing. This glass breaks into long shards and is commonly used in double-glazing after further treatment. This type of glass is the foundation of many common products we see today, such as windscreens, home windows, bus stops, electronics, appliances and many more.

Coated glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Coated glass is a sub type of flat glass that is modified to have specific properties, such as insulating and infrared resistance. It is commonly used to improve home insulation through double glazed windows. Applying a coating to glass can help to improve your home’s thermal efficiency and lower your energy bills.

Toughened glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Toughened glass can be used in a variety of applications, including shower doors, glass furniture, and shelves and has the advantage of being far more resistant to breakage. Because the cooling process in toughened glass creates counteracting stresses, if it does break, it will shatter into small, square fragments rather than shards, reducing the risk of injury. Blasting the surface of glass with sand gives it a translucent milky-white appearance, making it a popular technique for shower doors or front doors where privacy and light are required. This technique can be applied to a whole sheet of glass or to create patterns with a sand-resistant mask.

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What is crystal glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Because of its high refraction index, crystal glass looks stunning when it is cut. It is far denser than soda-lime glass. We use crystal glass to make drinking glasses, vases, bowls, ashtrays and decorative ornaments in our daily lives. It is made up of 54 to 65 percent sand, 13 to 15 percent alkali oxide and a variety of other oxides. Lead crystal glass is glass that contains more than 18 percent lead oxide. However, lead oxide is no longer widely used in the manufacture of glass. In Germany, crystal glass accounts for less than 0.5 percent of total tableware glass production.

Patterned glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Patterned glass is typically made by passing heated glass through rollers with a regular pattern imprinted on the glass. This type of glass is commonly used for bathroom windows or doors where, like sandblasted glass, light but not total transparency is required.

What is laminated glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Laminated glass is a popular choice for increased security, such as front doors, store window fronts, or car windscreens. Because laminated glass is held together by an interlayer, it will not shatter on impact, reducing the risk of break-ins and any hazards caused by shattered glass shards.

Special glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Special glass is used in high-technology and scientific applications. Its composition varies and it contains a wide range of chemical elements. Lenses, glass products used in the electrical and electronics industries and glass ceramics are examples of special glass.

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What is mirrored glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Mirrored glass is one of several types of glass that are available. Mirrored glass is simply a mirror – and it comes in a variety of sizes, from small bathroom mirrors to full-length wardrobe doors. It is created by applying a metal coating to one side of the glass, typically silver, chrome, gold or aluminum.

What is soda-lime glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

Soda-lime glass is the glass that is produced in the greatest quantity of all mass-produced glass types. In addition to sand, the main constituents are soda and lime, as the name implies. A typical soda-lime glass is composed of 71 to 75 percent sand (SiO2), 12 to 16 percent sodium bicarbonate (Na2O), 10 to 15% lime (CaO) and trace amounts of other substances such as dyes. Bottles, food jars, simple drinking glasses and sheet glass products are made from soda-lime glass. Because soda-lime glass is light permeable and has a smooth, fine-pored surface, it is simple to clean. It expands quickly under the influence of heat so be careful when putting hot water into a soda-lime glass container.

What is tinted glass?

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

If privacy is important is required, tinted glass is the best option for any doors or windows in your home or business. While tinted glass keeps prying eyes out, it still allows plenty of natural sunlight to pass through, while reducing the discomfort of the sun’s glare. Tinted glass can also reduce the amount of harmful UV rays that pass through, benefiting the entire family’s health. Tinted glass has a darker hue due to the addition of small amounts of metal oxides to the glass composition.

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What is annealed glass?

Annealed glass, also known as standard glass, is a softer glass that has been thermally treated and slowly cooled to relieve internal stresses. Annealed glass tends to shatter into longer, jagged shards that can cause serious injury. It is typically used when strength and safety are not an issue but cost is.

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

What is tempered glass?

Tempered glass is made by heating and quickly cooling the material – it has a different structure as a result. Tempered glass breaks differently than standard glass, which is one of its main characteristics. Unlike regular glass, which shatters into large uneven pieces, tempered glass shatters into small even pieces. This eliminates the risk of sharp edges and makes it a much safer option in the event of an accident; for this reason, tempered glass is frequently referred to as safety glass.

Tempered glass is used in ovens, coffee machines, computer screens, windows, shower doors and other applications due to its safety benefits and heat resistance. However, we are most interested in its use in screen protectors for smartphones and other mobile devices. Tempered glass protectors are common mobile device accessories that resemble plastic covers in appearance.

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Sandblasted glass

What are the Different Types of Glass? Explained

This option, also known as glass carving, strikes the ideal balance between beauty and privacy. To create a unique mist effect, this glass is blasted with an abrasive material at high pressure. This frosted appearance can be used to protect the privacy of bathroom windows and shower doors, as well as formed into elegant patterns to produce decorative glass panes to enhance your interior design. Sandblasted glass is also known as frosted glass. It works by scattering light that passes through it, blurring the appearance of the image on the other side.

Difference between annealed glass and tempered glass

Tempered glass is tougher and more durable than annealed glass. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into small pebble-shaped pieces, similar to how a car’s side glass shatters after an accident. This is why it is commonly referred to as safety glass. Tempered glass is annealed glass that has been hardened and strengthened by heat treatment. Because of the additional heat treatment processing, tempered glass is more expensive than annealed glass.

Tempered glass is four times stronger than annealed glass in general. Tempered glass cannot be cut or drilled without shattering. All fabrication must be completed while the glass is softer and annealed. Annealed glass has the ability to be cut, drilled, notched and edge finished. Tempering is only done after the shaping and fabrication are finished.

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