The Glassroom

All About Glass: Intro to Glass

Flat glass is a general term that encompasses float glass, sheet glass, plate glass, and rolled glass. Float glass is most commonly used in buildings and is the base glass product used in all subsequent glass processing operations. It is made from a soda and lime silicate, which is created when soda and lime, plus silica or sand, are melted at a high temperature.

Silicate sand is added to give the glass its texture. Calcium carbonate is incorporated into the mix and used as a melting agent to lower the temperature of the silica. In addition, it acts as a fining agent to homogenize the melting mixture and to eliminate bubbles. Fining agents are designed to agitate the melting mixture, release gases, and standardize the glass quality.

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