Glass is very important engineering material that is used for the production of various kinds of daily and customer products and high tech. Raw materials for glass production is very abundant in earth crust. In here, we explain the glass production from sand, and the typical melting processes that are applied to glass.
How The Glass Is Produced?
Silica is one of the most important raw material is generally used to produce glass. Also recycled glass is used to produce a specific amount of glass production.
Silica is obtained from sand. There is a raw material for glass inside sand that is called ‘quartz’. To obtain this quartz, sand is washed and ‘classified’. The process which is called as ‘classifying2 includes bunch of sub-processes to removing unwanted impurities from sand and classifiying sand according to the shape and size of sand grains.
When the proper washing and purifying operations are applied to sand, sand is classified to obtain sand grains around 0.1 to 0.6 mm are separated for glass production.
This obtained special sand is mixed with other additives;
- Special minerals,
- Soda ash,
- Aluminum oxide.
This mixture constitutes the starting form of glass as sand. This mixture is melted by using special furnaces to obtain required glass for special applications.
Glass Melting Operations
To work with glass such as shaping of them, a liquid form must be obtained. The starting sand to produce glass is melted around 1500-1600C degrees around 24-48 hours. There are various kinds of shaping operations are avaliable for different glass applications and products. So, required viscosity must be obtained according to the application.
Viscosity of molten glass is dependent upon its temperature. With the increasing temperature of glass, viscosity decreases. Soi required viscosity for specific glass shaping process is adjusted.
Furnaces That Are Used To Melt Glass Sand
The obtained sand that is mixed with various additives to melt in furnaces is called as ‘charge’. This ‘charge’ is charged to furnaces for melting. Typically, there are four types of glass melting furnaces that are generally used in glass production industry;
- Electric Furnaces: For various production ranges of glasswares, electric furnaces are used to melt the glass sand.
- Day Tanks: Various fuels are burned to melt the glass for bigger production rates of molten glass.
- Pot Furnaces: For smaller production rates of molten glass, small ceramic pots are heated, which includes charge inside these pots.
- Continuous Tank Furnaces: These tanks are best suited for serial production manner for glasswares. There is a long heated tank that charge is given from one side. At other side, molten glass is obtained. Charge is provided continously to these kinds of glass melting equipments.
Conclusion For Glass Production And Melting
As you understand above, glass is produced in the glassware production sites generally, because of the requirement of molten glass for production.
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