6 Fascinating Facts About Glass

You probably look through your glass windows every day, but have you ever stopped to ponder the composition of the glass or how it is shaped into a window? Glass is such a commonly used material, but most people know very little about it. Keep reading to discover six fascinating facts about glass and glass windows.

1. Glass Is Made From Liquid Sand

If you were to remove some sand from the beach, heat it to 3090 degrees F, and cool it down again, you would have glass. Glass is just melted and cooled silicon dioxide, which is the major component of sand.

In the glass-making industry, however, manufacturers add additional ingredients to the glass to make it stronger and easier to work with. Most commercial glass contains some soda ash and limestone. The soda ash lowers the melting point, and the limestone prevents the resulting mixture from being soluble in water.

2. Glass Is Neither Solid Nor Liquid

If you just look at glass, you might conclude that it is a solid. Perhaps your elementary school science teacher taught you that glass is really a slow-moving liquid. The truth is that glass is somewhere in between a solid and liquid. Experts classify it as an amorphous solid. Its molecules are close together, as they would be in a solid, but they are arranged in an irregular pattern, similar to that of a liquid.

3. Glass Was First Made Around 3100 B.C.

The earliest architectural evidence of glassmaking comes from Egypt, where glass artifacts from 3100 B.C. have been found. Around 650 B.C., the Assyrians wrote a glassmaking manual, and around 1 A.D., the Babylonians created the technique of glassblowing. Around 100 A.D., the cost of glass decreased, making the material affordable to the average person.

4. Glass Windows Became Popular in the 17th Century

In the 13th century, adding windows to buildings became commonplace. However, these early windows were just openings in the roof – nothing covered them. People soon began covering their windows with animal hides and wooden shutters when they did not want to let in light and air. In the early 17th century, glass windows finally became commonplace in England.

5. Glass Windows Are Made From Float Glass

You may have seen a glassblowing demonstration at an art museum or gallery. While glassblowing is extraordinary to watch, windows are flat and must be made via a different method. This method is glass floating.

Glass floating involves melting down glass and pouring it on top of a layer of molten tin. The components cool, and the glass separates from the tin, resulting in a very smooth and colorless finish.

6. Glass Windows Are Generally Treated and Coated

Years ago, windows were made of plain sheets of floated glass. Today, however, a number of ways exist that people can treat and coat the glass to improve the functionality of your windows.

Low-E glass, for example, has a thin layer of silver, which reflects heat and lowers your energy bills. Safety laminated glass has polyvinyl butyral, which keeps all of the pieces of glass together if the window breaks. Obscured glass has treated chemicals that etch it, or wear away its surface, so that you can no longer see through it clearly.

Now that you know a bit more about glass, you can feel more appreciative of this material when you look through your windows. If you need new glass windows, perhaps with low-E or laminated glass, contact Fischer Window & Door Store. We look forward to showing you what we offer and answering all your questions about windows and glass.