So, you’d think we should know lots about the glass in our sash windows. The truth is, people in general do not know as much about glass as they really should. To help fill in the gaps a little and possible help you at the next pub quiz, we are going to look at 5 interesting facts about glass.
- Sand is the Main Ingredient
We may as well start with one of the most fascinating facts about glass – what it actually contains. Many people reading this will already know this, but it’s still worth highlighting that glass is made when sand, that’s right…sad, is mixed with soda ash and lime and heated to incredibly high temperatures. When sand is heated, it starts to melt and is converted into a liquid. When the liquid cools, you are left with glass.
Why does the sand at the beach not turn to glass? It needs to reach a temperature of around 1700-degrees Celsius to melt.
- Glass is Still Not Technically a Solid
Following on nicely from the above fact, although it would seem as if glass, once it has been turned into a liquid and then cools, that it turns into a solid, this isn’t strictly the truth. It’s technically neither a solid, gas or liquid. It turns into what is known as an amorphous solid. This enables the molecules that make up the glass to move around.
- Glass Has an Incredible Lifespan
It is thought that glass takes around 1-million years to properly breakdown and decompose. That makes it, in all its resilience and durability, one of longest lasting materials made by man.
- When You Add Minerals to Glass It Changes Colour
Have you ever wondered how they tint glass so that it has a nice bit of colour through it? Adding different minerals into the mix along with the soda ash, lime and sand can create different coloured glass. Take as an example, nickel oxide, this can be used to create glass that has a distinctive and fetching violet colouring.
- Glass Can Be Formed From Volcanic Lava
As ridiculous as it may sound, volcanic lava can be transformed into glass. Remember at the outset, we briefly noted that natural glass had been existence for thousands of years longer than the manmade version. When lava is being pumped out of a volcano, for instance, it starts to cool down rapidly and is transformed into what is known as Obsidian, a natural type of glass.