We are surrounded by glass everyday of our lives but how much thought do we give to it? Here are some fascinating glass facts, so you can amaze at the next pub quiz!
It’s all natural
Glass is made by the process of melting minerals together at very high temperatures. One of the main ingredients is silica, a type of sand and it is this which gets melted at high temperatures with limestone and soda ash. For coloured glass, other materials can be added to the furnace at the melting stage. Glass can even be made by nature, for example when lightning strikes the silica in sand.
Over 5,000 years of history
Man has been making glass for over 5,000 years. Archaeologists have found glass-coated beads dating back to 4,000 BC. In approximately 1,500 BC the Ancient Egyptians began making glass bottles. While your home’s glass won’t be that old, if it’s getting on a bit, it might not be as secure and safe as it once was. For Emergency Glaziers Leicester, visit https://www.nandu.co.uk/glazing/replacement-glazing/
Glass makes great packaging
Containers made from glass are highly effective at storing things in an air-tight, transparent and impermeable environment. It’s also useful for seeing the freshness of the drink or food contained within. Glass packaging can also be high-pressure or vacuum sealed, protecting against oxygen and moisture getting in and thus preventing spoilage and bacteria risks.
Glass containers are super light
Glass containers now are 40% lighter than they were just two decades ago and scientists continue to work on making it even lighter!
Importance of recycling
Glass is the perfect example of sustainability. You can recycle glass time and again without it ever losing any purity or clarity. Each ton of glass that gets recycled means 1.2 tons of raw materials don’t need to be quarried.
Energy saving material
Recycling your old glass means much less energy is used as there is no need to quarry for new materials. Just recycling one glass bottle could save enough energy to do the following:
- Power a computer for 25 minutes
- Power a colour television for 20 minutes
- Power a washing machine for 10 minutes
Recycling glass for a whole year could:
- Power a computer for 5 days
- Power a colour television for 4.5 days
- Power a washing machine for 2.5 days
To produce coloured glass, small amounts of various natural colourants called oxidants can be added:
Blue glass – this is made by adding cobalt oxide. Only a tiny amount is needed, just a few parts per million. This creates a light blue shade often seen in water bottles.
Green glass – this is created with the addition of a non-toxic chrome oxide. The more that is added, the darker the green.
Amber glass – this is the most common coloured glass and is produced by mixing iron, carbon and sulphur at the melting stage.