Types of Glass and its Properties for Use in Construction

Types of Glass and its Properties for Use in Construction

Glass has been used as an engineering material since ancient times. It is an amorphous solid. Because of the rapid progress made in the glass industry in recent times, glass has come out as the most versatile engineering material of modern times. The first glass objects made by man were of natural glass such as obsidian and rock crystal. Glass of any type and quantity can be produced to fulfill the requirement of different industries. Glass is used in a different place such as:-

Glass window

  • A modern Boeing 707 jet plane contains more than 5000 components of glass.
  • The fibreglass reinforced with plastics can be used in the construction of furniture, lampshades, bathroom fittings, navy boats, aeroplanes, cars, trucks, etc.
  • The glass linings are applied to equipment's likely to be affected by chemical corrosion such as valves, pumps, pipes, etc.
  • The glass is the only material strong enough to go up to the bottom of the ocean and to maintain its buoyancy. It is therefore used in the construction of noses of deep-diving vehicles.
  • In the construction of modern homes, the walls and ceiling of hollow glass blocks can be made. Such construction cuts of the glare. But it admits sunlight and controls sound and heat in a better way.
  • In the field of firearms, the glass is used to form a rifle barrel which is lighter and stronger than the conventional type.
  • It will be interesting to note that now-a-day, it is possible to prepare the colour-changing glass. A window with such glass will be transparent during the daytime and it will be a source of light at night.
  • The body of a guided missile contains thousand of glass items.
  • The development and advancement of the sciences of astronomy and bacteriology are mainly due to the use of optical glass.
  • Classification Of Glass:-
          The glass is a mixture of several metallic silicates, one of which is usually that of an alkali metal. It is amorphous, transparent. It may also be considered as a solidified super-cooled solution of various metallic silicates having infinite viscosity.
Different colour glasses

  • Soda-lime glass or commercial glass
  • Potash-lime glass
  • Potash-lead glass
  • Common glass
  • Borosilicate glass
  • Properties Of Glass:-
The properties of glass are mainly governed by factors such as the composition of the constituents, state of the surface, thermal treatment conditions, dimensions of specimen, etc.
  • It absorbs, refracts or transmits light.
  • It can take up a high polish and may be used as a substitute for very costly gems.
  • It has no definite crystalline structure.
  • It has no sharp melting point.
  • It is affected by alkalies.
  • It is an excellent electrical insulator at elevated temperatures because glass can be considered an ionic liquid. The ions are not easily moved at room temperature because of the high viscosity. But when the temperature rises, the ions are permitted to flow and thus they will sustain an electric current.
  • It is available in different colors or shapes, It behaves more like a solid than most solids in the sense that it is elastic. But when the elastic limit is exceeded, it fractures instead of deforming.
  • It is not usually affected by air or water and is not easily attacked by ordinary chemical reagents.  
  • It is possible to intentionally alter some of its properties such as fusibility, hardness, refractive power, etc. to suit different purposes. it is transparent and translucent. Transparency is the most used characteristic of glass and it is due to the absence of free electrons. For the same reason, it also works as a good insulator.

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