Glass, a strange feature of sand

September 7, 2020 3:13 pm

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As you look out of a window or hold a cold draught of something in your hand it is all down to the wonders of glass. Where exactly does glass come from? How is it formed? It is such an incredibly useful material it is very easy to take it for granted. One company that does not take glass for granted is Tewkesbury Double Glazing Firmfix.  Go to firmfix to see what things they can do with it.

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Glass as material is full of contradictions. It is see through but it is made from an opaque substance like sand. When you heat it turns into a molten state that is easy to mold and work with yet it sets to a very hard consistency. Effectively it is a liquid but in a weird solid state.

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To explain, glass is made by heating sand to a liquid state. The temperature required for this is extremely high. This high heat changes the glasses’ chemical makeup in such a way that it transforms into a clear appearance. It doesn’t go back to being sand again, the heat has changed it forever.

 

Here is the really strange part, even though it is cooled and seems solid it is still actually a liquid akin to ice (but not as cold and doesn’t melt). This glass is what is known as an amorphous solid; it is neither solid nor is it a liquid. I did say it was strange.

Even better it doesn’t react to things that you put in it which is why we use it for glasses for drinks.