You may have heard that glass is actually a liquid. This is the scientific truth, but there are other steps in the making of glass that are intriguing. It looks fantastic in your wonderful windows, but how did it actually come to get there?
The main compound in glass is silica which is, yes, found in things like sand, soda and lime. This mineral is heated to extreme temperatures then cooled very quickly. The basic structure of the original material changes, but never fully solidifies again; that is why glass is clear and commonly called a liquid – it is a “frozen liquid” indeed!
Glass can occur naturally in nature (for example, when lightning strikes sand) and its making has been present in the history of humans as far back as the Ancient Egyptians.
To make different shapes, hot glass can be literally blown into shape with air. This process of “blowing” lets people create intricate designs. In the eighteen hundreds, window glass became popular. It signified wealth. To make the flat glass it was spun, which caused it to spread but a small “crown” remained in the middle – and thus crown glass windows were born. As technology progressed, so too did methods of creating flat glass.
The colour of glass can be changed, too. While the original material is heating, metallic salts or other compounds are simply added for a vivid effect. This is how stained glass windows come to be!
Glass can then be tempered to make it stronger. This means it is re-heated. It is a popular treatment for medicinal glass bottles and other things that need to have such reinforcement.
Depending on the purpose of the glass, it is sometimes treated with products that offer varying effects. There are substances that create an insulating effect over the glass, some tints change colour of the glass, others absorb heat.
Next, glass is cut to specific dimensions, which are usually stock-standard. Then the panes are thoroughly cleaned so that the freshly sized pieces can be glued together securely.
Now comes the creation of the frame! The frame is a crucial element that is created, usually welded, before the panes and the frame are joined.
Well, yes, the window is complete. But nothing creates a better view from the windows in your home like adding some fantastic curtains or blinds!