Glass is something we handle every single day. When we open a window, touch our smartphone screen, or drink our favourite beverage — we interact with glass directly on a constant basis. Even so, it’s funny that we never really stop to think much about this versatile material and all the interesting facts about it, especially when we use it as often as we do. Let’s end our ignorance today with some very fascinating facts about it! Check them out below.
Glass is Also Naturally Made
Glass is a material that’s both man-made and natural as well. In fact, our ancestors once used glass called obsidian to create knives, jewellery, and weapons. This type of glass is naturally created by the intense heat given off from volcanic eruptions that works to fuse rocks and sand into glass. And yes, it looks as cool as it sounds!
Mason Glass Has Been Around Since the 1800s\
Those mason glass jars you love to ferment foods in, fill with plants and herbs, and bottle your tomato sauce in have been around a lot longer than you may suspect. Canning jars with screw tops were first made back in 1858 and have changed very little over the years in design and function.
Glass Can Be Recycled Forever
Did you know that glass can be recycled again and again without wearing out or losing its quality over time? The fact that it won’t deteriorate with use and age makes it one of the easiest materials to recycle.
Brown Glass Reflects UV Light
There’s a reason why your beer glass is brown and not clear. The amber tint is designed to reflect any UV light that would otherwise spoil the contents. You’ll find brown glass commonly used for food and drink bottles and even windows to prevent fade and deterioration of upholstery.
Glass is Always Moving
Glass may look solid, but it’s actually called an amorphous solid, which is a state between solid and liquid. If you were to look at the molecules that make up the glass, you would see that they are in fact moving but at a very, very slow rate.
Most New Glass Contains Recycled Glass
At this current age, most glass bottles and jars today contain at least 25 percent recycled glass. That’s just another reason why it’s important to keep recycling your bottles — every little bit helps to reduce waste in our landfills that harm our environment.
Regular Glass is Greenish, Not Clear
Another fun fact about glass is that it’s not clear in its natural form. It’s actually a greenish colour naturally. To get clear glass, the iron content in the molten glass formula must be reduced.
Frosted Glass is Created By Acid-Etching
Have you ever wondered how businesses get their logos etched onto their glass surfaces? By acid-etching with hydrofluoric acid, glass manufacturers are able to achieve that engraved and frosted look.
Windshields Were Once Made of Plain Glass
We’ve all gotten used to driving in cars with windshields that are made of shatter-proof laminated glass, but it hasn’t always been this way. The first windshields were made out of regular glass that’s used for standard windows. Of course, the main problem with this was how easily the glass would shatter during an accident, which became a major safety hazard.
Even Henry Ford himself was injured by flying glass shards because of this. That was until he decided that something needed to be done to lower the cost of the glass and make it safer. As a result, one of his employees, along with a British glass manufacturer, produced a new process that made our windshield glass safer, stronger, and more cost effective.
Laminated Glass Can Be Repaired
Speaking of windshield glass, have you ever wondered why this type of glass can be repaired, but your window glass can’t? It’s because laminated glass is constructed using heat and high pressure to fuse a flexible membrane between two sheets of glass. So in the event of it breaking, it’s still held together, making glass repair possible for minor impacts and damage.
Tempered Glass Never Cracks
There is one type of glass that hardly ever cracks or breaks into shards — tempered glass. This kind only breaks under extreme pressure, and when it does, it breaks into smaller granules, not shards. How does this work? By super-cooling glass that’s first heated to more than 600 degrees Celsius in a tempering oven. This process causes the outer layer to cool much faster than the inner layer, creating superior strength.
Stained Glass Has Been Around for Centuries
Beautiful stained glass windows have been crafted all the way back since 400AD! It was Christian churches that first started using stained glass in their windows. Today, the method to produce it is hasn’t changed since the Middle Ages.
Glass Windows Were Once a Luxury Item
Using glass in windows has only been common practice since the early 17th century. Before this time, windows were seen as a luxury item for the rich and affluent.
Glass is our thing at M&T Glass! We design, sell, repair, and install all types of glass structures, from windows to the glass on your coffee table. To learn more about us or to check out our latest supply, explore our website today!