Over the centuries, glass-making methods have changed dramatically, from a skilled craft to today’s high-volume industrial production. One of the most important innovations in the glass industry is the improvement of the Flat Glass manufacturing process, so we want to give you an insight into how flat glass is made today.
Glass was first discovered around 5,000 BC. For centuries, individual craftsmanship dominated, and by the 20th century, glass production was industrialized and mass production in sheets began. However, there was still a major problem: Both sides of the glass had to be ground and polished to achieve the desired quality. This was a very time consuming and costly process.
What followed was perhaps the greatest innovation in glass history, with the emergence of the Flat Glass manufacturing process that became popular in the 1960s. This breakthrough led to a significant increase in the use of glass worldwide.
Flat glass forms the basis of all that Guardian offers today, from coated solar control glass to laminated safety glass, anti-reflective glass to mirror glass.
Flat Glass Process
The process of making flat glass is similar to preparing and cooking a carefully planned meal. You start by collecting all the necessary materials, then you perform a specific set of actions that includes heating to the right temperature and then cooling properly. Follow the recipe exactly and the results will be worth the effort.
Flat glass process; It starts with a raw material mix that includes key ingredients such as silica sand, soda ash, limestone and dolomite.
A blend of about %80 of this mixture and about %20 of broken glass (reused scrap glass within the plant) is placed in a large furnace and melted at extremely high temperatures. After prolonged stirring, the bubbles are removed and the molten glass strip is floated on a bath of liquid tin to form flat, parallel surfaces.
Tin does not react chemically with glass and is compatible with the glass manufacturing process in terms of substance density and melting temperature. The thickness of the glass strip is determined in the tin bath.
By passing it through a tempering tunnel, the temperature of the glass is gradually lowered to around the factory temperature, allowing the material to be cut and stored into industrial stock sheets.
Laminated Glass Making
While flat glass provides an excellent base product, laminating glass can also provide other benefits such as color, sound control, safety and security. This process; It helps make glass more suitable for today’s demanding architectural applications, whether for noise reduction, hurricane impact resistance, intrusion prevention, broken glass protection or a combination of all these.
Laminated glass consists of layers bonded together using a plastic interlayer. Glass and interlayers are available in a variety of colors and thicknesses to provide the desired appearance and performance to suit your application.
While laminated glass is still a breakable glass, fragments adhere to the plastic interlayer and remain largely intact, reducing the risk of injury. In this respect, laminated glass can be described as safety glass.
Today, glazing has to offer much more than just letting natural light into a building and providing an open, uninterrupted field of view. To offer the additional functions required by modern buildings, ultra-thin coatings can be added to flat glass to add various features such as solar control, enhanced insulation and anti-reflection. As glass manufacturers, our aim is to both help improve occupant comfort and well-being and offer an energy efficient building envelope that is tuned to its environment and climate.
Properties of Glass
The methods we use in glass production, the coating and laminating processes enable us to offer bespoke high performance glass products that provide solutions to your unique problems. In short, there is no limit to our possibilities. Need more proof? Go to our “Glass Properties” section where you can learn more about the properties and physical qualities of flat, laminated and coated glass.