Views: 48 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-05-15 Origin: Site
Glass is a versatile material used in many areas of everyday life, such as in window panes, mirrors, and designer furniture. Float glass, which is produced in a float process and has a particularly smooth surface, is used in almost all cases. In this article, you will find important information about the manufacture and properties of float glass, as well as special float glasses such as Optiwhite or safety glass.
Float glass is a type of flat glass that is produced in a float glass process. Molten glass is applied to a bath of liquid tin, and since the glass is lighter than tin, it floats on the surface and spreads out completely evenly. This results in glass with an immaculately smooth surface that is free of air pockets such as bubbles or streaks. Because of these advantages, the float glass process has largely replaced other methods in the manufacture of flat glass.
Float glass is made by float glass production factories that own large float glass production lines. The manufacture of float glass involves the following steps:
1. Raw materials
The individual raw materials for glass production, including quartz sand, soda (sodium carbonate), dolomite, and lime (calcium carbonate), are mixed and melted in the melting furnace. In most cases, 10-15% of recycled, cleaned glass shards are also added to the mixture.
2. Float process
The glass mixture is then passed to a bath of liquid tin at a temperature of approx. 1100 °C. The glass floats on the top of the tin and spreads out evenly in all directions, forming the characteristic smooth surface.
3. Cooling and cutting
The glass is then cooled down slowly and without tension. Once it is "only" 600 °C hot, the glass ribbon can be lifted off the tin bath. The glass cools further in an additional cooling furnace, is then checked for quality, washed, and cut to the desired sizes.
The thickness of the glass depends on how fast the rollers move in the cooling area. The faster these rollers move, the thinner the glass plate becomes. An additional production step of stretching or upsetting is installed to control the glass thickness.
This is a float glass production line. The glass melting furnaces and supporting production lines sold by our company are mainly customized according to the output and plant area you need, and the prices are not fixed. According to your requirements and the on-the- Spot investigation of our dispatched personnel, our sales manager will provide you with specific quotations.
Advanced control systems: Float glass production lines are increasingly using advanced control systems, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to optimize the production process and reduce energy consumption.
Energy-efficient technologies: Energy consumption is a major cost factor in float glass production, so there is a focus on developing and implementing energy-efficient technologies such as waste heat recovery, regenerative combustion, and advanced insulation.
Advanced coatings: New and improved coatings are being developed for float glass products, such as low-e coatings that improve energy efficiency and self-cleaning coatings that reduce maintenance costs.
High-performance glass products: Float glass production lines are expanding their product lines to include high-performance glass products, such as laminated glass, tempered glass, and insulated glass units.
Automation and robotics: Float glass production lines are increasingly using automation and robotics to improve efficiency and reduce labor costs. For example, automated cutting and edge processing machines are now commonly used to increase production throughput and reduce waste.
Float glass is also valued in furniture design, as its immaculately smooth surface and crystal-clear transparency make it ideal for the production of fine glass furniture. Classic float glass typically shimmers slightly greenish and has a clear green to green-black color at the edges. Glass furniture made of classic float glass exudes an elegance that goes particularly well with upscale furnishing styles. If you prefer a fresh, modern touch, it is advisable to use glass furniture made of white glass, such as the extra light Optiwhite glass.
Until the 1960s, flat glass was manufactured using other methods, such as pulling, rolling, or casting. The resulting glass, however, always had a slight curl or drawing strip, so that it did not appear completely clear. In 1959, the British engineer Alastair Pilkington introduced the float glass process for the first time, and industrial float glass production began in the mid-1960s. Since then, the float glass method has increasingly replaced all other processes.
Float glass has a completely even surface, which allows for a clear, undistorted view. Other properties of float glass include its robustness against scratches, weight of approximately 2.5 kilograms per square meter and millimeter of glass thickness, plane-parallel surfaces, slightly greenish color, high light transmission, and resistance to temperature changes. These features, coupled with its comparatively inexpensive manufacturing process, have led to float glass being used in a variety of ways today. Around 95% of flat glass is float glass.
Float glass is used for windows, mirrors, car windows, facade glazing, glass houses, glass furniture, and more. In many cases, float glasses are not processed as single panes, and multiple glazing made from several float glass panes is mostly used for windows, doors, and facades. Through special treatment, flat glass can also be processed into safety, laminated, and insulating glass.
Float glass is processed into safety glass for a large number of uses. Toughened safety glass (ESG), laminated safety glass (VSG), and partially tempered glass (TVG) are among the types of safety glass. With regard to the characteristics of safety glass, two important key figures are flexural strength, which is the maximum bending stress that a component can withstand before it breaks, and resistance to temperature changes.
ESG float glass has an increased flexural strength (at least 120 N/mm²) and an increased resistance to temperature changes (approx. 200 K). VSG float glass does not fall apart when broken, and the glazed opening remains closed. TVG float glass is more stable than ordinary float glass but forms larger fragments than the fully tempered glass. In the case of laminated safety glass made of TVG, a high residual load-bearing capacity of the pane remains when broken, which can be important for fall protection, for example.
Float glass is characterized by its slightly greenish color, which is due to the proportion of iron oxides in the glass bulk. In contrast, Optiwhite glass is a type of white glass that looks even more transparent and shimmers more brightly turquoise. Both variants are float glass, but when you mention "float glass" in contrast to "white glass" or "Optiwhite" glass, you usually mean the typical greenish glass.
Float glass panes are used in many everyday settings, such as in car windows, glazed verandas, and glass display cases. Because the float glass process can be used to produce mirror-flat glass in an efficient manner that allows crystal-clear viewing, it has become an integral part of our daily lives.
Nanjing Baisheng Glass Technology Co., Ltd.is situated in the Airport Science & Technology Industrial Park in Lishui District, Nanjing. The company is a global provider of glass technology equipment engineering system integration services, offering "one-stop" system integration services, including glass engineering R&D, engineering construction, equipment manufacturing, commissioning, production, and operation.
With over 15 years of experience since its inception, the company has developed advanced technology and expertise in constructing glass factories, performing cold and hot repairs on melting furnaces, furnace heat-up, and manufacturing equipment for glass production lines. Nanjing Baisheng Glass Technology Co., Ltd. also possesses its own patented technology and know-how in various fields, such as photovoltaic calendered glass, small and medium float energy-saving glass, water glass, light industrial energy-saving glass, and all oxygen and electric boosting glass furnaces.