What is glass?

From the Latin vitrĕum, glass is a material of great hardness, but at the same time very fragile. It is inorganic, lacks a crystalline structure and generally allows light to pass through. To obtain the glass, it is necessary to melt limestone, silica sand and soda ash and mold the mixture at high temperature.

Glass sheets are used to make windows, doors, bottles and other products. It is important to differentiate between glass and crystal, as glass can be defined as an amorphous solid. For example: “Be careful, don’t cut yourself with these broken glass”, “Glass bottles are cheaper than plastic ones”, “I need a very resistant glass to make a table”, “I have to go buy a new glass now that the bedroom window was broken”.

Currently, there are different types of glass, so we could talk about the following: Sodium-calcium. In this specific case, the main component of glass is silica, although it also contains calcium, which gives it chemical stability, and sodium, responsible for facilitating its melting. Of this type of glass we can also highlight that it is the cheapest and the one that melts more easily. of lead. Calcium oxide is replaced in this case by lead, which means that said material, although it is as transparent as sodium-calcium oxide, is identified by a series of characteristics such as excellent absorption of ultraviolet rays, an excellent insulating capacity is better. ductility. borosilicate. In this specific case, its main components are silica and also boron, which makes it one of its brands that is very resistant to sudden changes in temperature and heat. This fact is what leads it to be used in the manufacture and elaboration of utensils that are used both in laboratories and in domestic kitchen ovens. Silica. A great hardness defines this type of glass, which of all the existing ones is the most difficult to work with. Like the previous one, it has great resistance to heat, which is why it is also used in the manufacture of instruments such as protective tubes or even in the lining of ovens. It is believed that the first products made from glass were necklace beads. Around 1200 BC, glass making was very popular in Egypt and Mesopotamia. A craft technique for the production of glass objects is blowing, which consists of generating air bubbles in the molten glass. For this, a metallic tube is used that allows the injection of air into the material, either with the use of a machine or by blowing. It is noteworthy that glass is a recyclable material, without losing its properties in the process and without limits to the number of times it is recycled. It is common for glasses to separate according to color before being crushed and melted.

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