The Engineering of Glass Will Leave You Astonished

Did you know that glass starts out as a solid sand mixture?
Loukia Papadopoulos

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Have you ever wondered how glass is made? Did you know it first starts out at sand?

Indeed, glass begins as a batch of silica sand mixed with other materials such as sodium carbonate or limestone.

These sand mixtures are measured and then heated to extreme temperatures in a furnace, reaching 3,090 °F (1,700 °C). 

Once heated, the sand mixture melts, turning into liquid. This liquid can then be manipulated into different shapes that retain their form until the glass cools down and settles into its final shape. This stage of glass production is called the hot end.

This is by no means the only way to form and shape glass. One of the biggest breakthroughs in glasswork was conceived all the way back in the 1st century BC and is called glassblowing. Surprisingly, it has not changed much since then.

It consists of forming glass into shapes by gathering the molten glass on the end of a hollow pipe and ‘blowing’ into it to create a bubble. 

What makes it possible for something so hard as glass to become so transparent? What goes on on the levels of electrons to result in this transformation? We answer these questions in our video.

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