The most commonly and easily found everyday material is a product of sand, yes it is GLASS.
Quick Facts about glass
- Its use can be traced back to the Stone Age, and it was naturally occurring glass, like obsidian (glass naturally created from volcanic magma).
- Its initial use started as a glaze for pottery until the method of glass-blowing was developed in the first century B.C., making glass more available and it has derived its name from the Latin word for ice, “glacies.”
- Though pure silica is used to make Glass, but to make the glassmaking process easier, ash and lime is added. From these basic ingredients, a variety of glass can be formed.
- Flat glasses are formed by the process named annealing. Most of the world’s flat glass is annealed glass, since the process for making this was invented in the 1950s by Sir Alastair Pilkington.
- Annealing of the glass is done when molten glass is poured onto a tin bath and levels out to dry in parallel, flat surfaces. But this annealed glass is not suitable for building as it breaks into shards.
- Initially plate glass was also popular, it was formed by rolling it flat, called as a tempered glass, and this is such a kind of glass that is a bit tougher and safer from breakage. Any product made out of this if gets break then the whole glass panel will fall apart into small bits. Also, since the portions of the tempered glass are formed differently, the outer portion of the panel is more susceptible to scratches.
- Other variety of the glass is laminated glass and this was invented by Edouard Benedictus, after discovering that a glass flask coated with cellulose nitrate was dropped to the ground, shattered, but did not break. Such a glass is mostly used for windshields and security purposes, as it is bulletproof. Laminated glass is formed from typical annealed glass and a generous coating of polyvinyl butyral.
- Very nascent variety of the glass is self-cleaning glass that is coated with titanium dioxide, it enables ultraviolet rays to break down organic compounds on the surface and surely which may just put window-cleaners out of business.
- Energy-efficient glasses have metallic-based coatings that hinder the glass from transferring thermal energy.
So glass and it’s products have essentially become inseparable part of our lives, in fact you can have your own collection search the beaches to see if you’ve found pieces of sea glass (not naturally occurring but the kind that was thrown into the sea and molded by it after many years into smooth, round shapes) because they have lately become valuable and highly sought-after.