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3 Major Thermal Equipment In The Float Glass Production

Views: 1     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-05-20      Origin: Site

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The three major thermal equipment in the float glass production process are:

1. Float Glass Melting Furnace

This equipment is the heart of the production line, responsible for converting raw materials into molten glass.

Its efficient operation ensures a continuous supply of high-quality molten glass, which is essential for the downstream processes.  

It utilizes oxy-combustion technology for fuel burning, which enhances energy efficiency and reduces harmful emissions.

2. Float Glass Tin Bath

The tin bath plays a pivotal role in shaping the molten glass into a continuous ribbon of specified width and thickness.

Maintaining precise temperature control within the range of 1050-1100°C is crucial for achieving the desired thickness and width of the glass ribbon.

3. Float Glass Annealing Kiln

After forming in the tin bath, the glass ribbon undergoes heat treatment in the annealing kiln to relieve internal stresses and improve its mechanical properties.

Proper annealing ensures that the glass maintains its structural integrity during subsequent handling and processing stages.

This step helps prevent glass breakage and defects, ultimately ensuring the quality of the final product.

Float Glass Melting Furnace, Float Glass Tin Bath, Float Glass Annealing Kiln Using Guide

To ensure the efficient operation of the three major thermal equipment in float glass production—glass melting furnace, tin bath, and annealing lehr—several best practices and precautions must be followed.

Here are detailed guidelines for each piece of equipment:

Melting Furnace

Best Practices:

1. Maintain a consistent high temperature (around 1500°C) to ensure complete melting of raw materials and to avoid defects in the glass.

2. Utilize regenerative or recuperative systems to recover heat from exhaust gases, which can preheat incoming air and improve overall energy efficiency.

3. Implement AI-based models for predictive control of temperature, energy consumption, and glass quality. This can optimize furnace operations, reduce specific energy consumption, and maximize throughput.


1. Regularly inspect and maintain the furnace walls, crown, and regenerators to prevent degradation and extend furnace life. Techniques like ceramic welding can be used for hot repairs without stopping the kiln.

2. Manage the formation of surface foam, which can insulate the glass from heat and cause defects. Techniques like oxygen staging can help mitigate foam formation.

3. Use infrared thermal imaging systems for continuous monitoring to ensure uniform heating and to detect any anomalies early.

Tin Bath

Best Practices:

1. Maintain an inert gas atmosphere (typically nitrogen and hydrogen) to prevent oxidation of the tin and ensure a high-quality glass surface.

2. Control the temperature gradient within the tin bath, starting from around 1050°C at the inlet to about 600°C at the outlet, to ensure proper shaping and cooling of the glass ribbon.

3. Use process simulations to optimize the design of the tin bath, including the flow of tin and the profiles of the bath bottom, to avoid flaws in the optical quality of the glass.


1. Implement regular cleaning of the tin bath components, such as the roof and rollers, to prevent contamination and maintain efficiency.

2. Use camera systems to monitor the production process, as direct observation is not possible due to high temperatures and protective atmosphere.

3. Regularly check and maintain the tin bath roof and other critical components to ensure they are functioning correctly and to prevent defects in the glass.

Annealing Lehr

Best Practices:

1. Ensure a controlled cooling process from about 600°C to room temperature to relieve internal stresses and improve the physical properties of the glass.

2. Maintain a precise temperature gradient across the lehr to avoid rapid cooling, which can cause surface compression and spontaneous breakage.

3. Utilize advanced control systems and digital twins to optimize the annealing process, improve glass quality, and reduce energy consumption.


1. Regularly inspect and maintain the rollers and other components of the lehr to prevent scratches and other defects during the cooling process.

2. Use infrared cameras and other temperature monitoring systems to ensure uniform cooling and to detect any deviations early.

3. Design the lehr with flexible temperature curves to accommodate different production scenarios and to achieve the perfect glass tension.

By following these best practices and precautions, the glass melting furnace, tin bath, and annealing lehr can operate efficiently, ensuring high-quality float glass production and minimizing defects.

What are the consequences of improper use?

Improper use of the glass melting furnace, tin bath, and annealing lehr in the float glass production process can lead to several significant consequences, affecting both the quality of the glass and the efficiency of the production process.

Here are the detailed consequences for each piece of equipment:

Glass Melting Furnace

1. Inefficient operation of the furnace can lead to higher energy consumption. For example, low efficiency in the melting phase can significantly increase the energy required to melt the raw materials, as shown in the life cycle assessment of flat glass.

2. Improper temperature control can result in incomplete melting of raw materials, leading to defects such as bubbles, inclusions, and striations in the glass.

3. Poor maintenance and improper operation can cause damage to the refractory materials lining the furnace, leading to costly repairs and potential downtime.

4. Inefficient combustion and poor control of emissions can increase the release of harmful substances such as CO2, NOx, and SOx, contributing to environmental pollution.

Tin Bath

1. Improper control of the tin bath atmosphere and temperature can lead to surface defects in the glass, such as tin inclusions and oxidation marks, which affect the optical quality of the glass.

2. Inconsistent temperature and mechanical pulling can result in variations in the thickness and width of the glass ribbon, leading to non-uniform products that not meet quality standards.

3. Failure to maintain an inert atmosphere can cause oxidation of the tin bath, leading to contamination of the glass surface and potential defects.

4. Improper maintenance and operation can cause damage to the tin bath components, such as the roof and rollers, leading to increased maintenance costs and potential production stoppages.

Annealing Lehr

1. Improper annealing can leave residual stresses in the glass, making it more prone to cracking or shattering during subsequent processing or use.

2. Glass that is not properly annealed can fail when subjected to temperature changes or mechanical shocks, reducing its durability and reliability.

3. Inconsistent cooling rates and poor temperature control can lead to inefficiencies in the annealing process, increasing energy consumption and potentially causing production delays.

4. Inadequate annealing can result in glass that does not meet the required quality standards, leading to higher rejection rates and increased waste.

In summary, the improper use of the glass melting furnace, tin bath, and annealing lehr can have severe consequences on the quality of the glass, the efficiency of the production process, and the overall environmental impact. Proper maintenance, precise temperature control, and efficient operation are crucial to mitigating these risks and ensuring high-quality float glass production.

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