Interesting facts about glass


Posted on Nov 22, 2022      255


I can't imagine the modern world without glass, but few people think about what it is and how it is produced. But glass is used not only in window frames and glassware, no - it can also be found in a vast variety of household appliances and devices, cars and much more. Ever since scientists invented a way to produce it cheaply on a mass scale, glass has quickly spread all over the world, and has taken an important place in modern civilization.

Glass Facts

  • One glass was very expensive, and only very wealthy people could afford glass windows. The rest made do with thin plates of mica or animal bubbles that replaced glass.
  • People got their first glass by finding fulgurites, heating them, softening them, and processing them. Fulgurites are glass tubes formed in the sand because of lightning striking a beach.
  • The melting point of glass is between 300 and 2500 ⁰C, but the exact number depends on the components that make it up.
  • Glass comprises quartz sand (about 70%), lime, and soda.
  • If you break glass, the crack in it will spread at a speed of up to 4500-5000 km/h.
  • Glass is the record holder for decay time, which under normal conditions reaches a million years.
  • It is also an amorphous material. This means that if extremely hot glass is cooled quickly, it will not solidify.
  • Glass can be recycled for reuse without losing quality.

  • Melting glass is about 40% cheaper than producing it from its primary components.
  • Glass can make threads that are flexible enough to sew fabric.
  • Glass is dyed with metal oxides. For example, to give glass a bluish or dark red color, using iron oxide, a light yellow shade is achieved with the help of uranium oxide, and purple and brown - with the help of nickel.
  • To create armored glass, several layers of this material are placed on top of each other, binding them together with a polymer film, and then the resulting “sandwich” is heated in a furnace and rolled with a machine under high pressure.
  • The car windshield does not shatter into pieces because of the polymer film, just as with armored glass.
  • The thickest glass in the world is used at the Sydney Oceanarium. Its thickness reaches 26 centimeters.
  • To make frosted glass transparent, you just need to glue a transparent adhesive tape on it. The adhesive of the tape smoothes out the irregularities, and as a result, the light does not scatter, but passes through as through ordinary glass.
  • In 2015, Japanese scientists created a new kind of glass, completely transparent, but almost as strong as tempered steel.
  • The hardening rate of glass is incredibly high. This is because of the presence in the composition of soda and lime, which speed up the process, preventing the silicon to build a crystal lattice.
  • Unbreakable glass was accidentally invented by French chemist Edouard Benedictus in 1903 when he dropped a flask of nitrocellulose. To his surprise, the glass did not shatter, but only cracked slightly. He studied it and drew appropriate conclusions.
  • The first bulletproof glass was installed in 1941 in the windows of the Oval Office of the U.S. White House.
  • The oldest example of glasswork is a greenish bead with a diameter of 9 mm, found near the ancient city of Thebes. According to scientists, its age is about 5500 years. It is stored in the Berlin Museum.

  • In Europe in the Middle Ages there was a mental disorder in which the patient claimed to be made of glass and can at any time be broken. It was mostly nobles who suffered from this disorder.
  • About 800,000 years ago, a huge meteorite crashed into the Earth. The clump reached 20 kilometers in width, and after the impact, fragments of glass rose into the atmosphere, which was turned into a molten rock from the explosion. As a result, glass rain fell over an area of about 22500 square kilometers.
  • Glass rains on some planets.
  • The first glasses were created in the XIII century, after scientists mastered the production of glass of the right shape and with the required characteristics.
  • Glass is neutral to the action of alkalis and acids. This predetermined its widespread use in the chemical industry.
  • Scientists suppose that the ancient Egyptians were the first to master glassmaking about 6 thousand years ago. This is confirmed by unique findings in modern Egypt.
  • Lime impurities give glass its luster and resistance to chemical influences.

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