What Is Glass?
Glass is an inorganic solid material that is usually found in transparent or translucent form. Sometimes the glass is found in opaque form too. Glass is a hard and brittle material manufactured by fusion process.
In the fusion process, the sand is allowed to fuse with lime, soda, and other admixtures as well. Then the mixture of all of these is cooled as quickly as possible. This cooled substance is known as glass.
In construction, different types of glass are used mainly for architectural purposes. Other than that there are more applications of glass as a material, which we will learn further.
Types of Glass Used In Construction
There are various types of glasses used in construction for diﬀerent purposes. Let us learn about each one of them in detail.
Diﬀerent types of glass used in construction are as follows:
- Float glass
- Shatterproof glass
- Laminated glass
- Extra clean or self-cleaning glass
- Chromatic glass
- Tinted glass
- Toughened glass
- Patterned glass
- Wired glass
- Glass block
- Glass wool
- Insulated glazed units
1. Float Glass
Float glass, also known as soda-lime glass, is manufactured from sodium silicate by controlled cooling. Float glass is a glass having a superior quality of optic clarity. Float glass is available in various thickness sizes ranging from 2mm to 20mm respectively.
Operations like drilling, cutting, bending, and polishing are possible to be carried out on float glass. Float glass is unable to resist shock and also has a low tension capacity, which is considered its major drawback. These types of glass are used for window glass in shops and public places.
2. Shatterproof Glass
Shatterproof glass resists shattering or breaking down into small edged pieces when it is destroyed either naturally or purposely.
The non-formation of sharp-edged pieces of glass in shatterproof glass is due to the addition of plastic polyvinyl butyrate during the process of its manufacturing. Shatterproof glass is used for window glass, floors, and skylights respectively.
3. Laminated Glass
Laminated glass is a sandwiched glass consisting of two or more layers of glass combined using a transparent and flexible material. Laminated glass is soundproof glass.
It is usually thicker and heavier as compared to other types of glasses, as it is made up of more than one layer of glass. Laminated glass is widely used for making aquariums and in the construction of bridges.
4. Extra Clean Glass or Self Cleaning Glass
Extra clean glass which is also known as self-cleaning glass, This type of glass is popularly used due to its unique properties.
i) Photocatalyst – This means, the glass contains a kind of nanoparticles which attacks and breakdown the dirt particles. This makes it easier to clean the glass.
ii) Hydrophobic – This means, the surface of the glass does not allow water droplets to stay on it. It repels water. Self-cleaning glasses are mostly used or locations where cleaning & maintenance is a bit diﬃcult or where it is diﬃcult to reach.
5. Chromatic Glass
Chromatic glass is used in meeting rooms and Intensive Care Units (ICU) of hospitals. Chromatic glasses can control the daylight and transparency. Chromatic glasses are available in three forms:-
- i) Photochromatic – which is able to sense light.
- ii) Thermochromatic – which can since temperature and heat.
- iii) Electrochromatic- transparency of electrochromatic glass can be controlled by an electrical switch.
6. Tinted Glass
Tinted glass is colored glass that is manufactured by adding some additives to the mixture while manufacturing glass, without compromising the properties of glass.
The addition of iron oxide to glass gives a green tint to it while copper sulphate is added to give a blue shade to the glass. Similarly, by adding diﬀerent additives, diﬀerent colors are obtained.
7. Toughened Glass
Toughened glass, also known as safety glass or tempered glass, is a specially processed glass that is manufactured while keeping in mind its strength and its ability to resist breaking. This type of glass is very tough and does not break easily.
By chance, if it breaks, it breaks into smaller pieces which eliminate the chances of anyone getting injured due to it. Toughened glass is mostly seen in kitchens, shower screens, etc.
8. Patterned Glass
It is a type of flat glass that has been rolled onto one side during its production. Patterned glass has diﬀerent patterns as well as diﬀerent colors. It is mainly used for decorative purposes.
9. Wired Glass
Wired glass is a special type of glass in which a wired mesh is present in between the structure of glass. This wire mesh is inserted at the time of production of the glass itself.
The main objective of wire mesh is to hold the glass together when it is either cracked or broken. This type of glass is generally used in industries and garages.
10. Glass Blocks
Glass blocks which are also known as glass bricks sometimes are blocks of glass manufactured by combining two halves pressed and annealed during the melting process of glass. This type of glass block is chiefly used to improve the aesthetic appearance of a structure.
11. Glass Wool
Glass wool is an insulating material made out of flexible glass fibers intertwined with each other. It is used as a filler in buildings. Glam wool helps to keep out the heat and is also used as a soundproofing material.
12. Insulated Glazed Units
Insulated glazed glass is another modern type of glass made by combining two to three layers of glass. These layers of glasses are separated by air or vacuum, which helps to resist heat coming through the glass. It acts as an insulator. Insulated glazed units are also known as double glazed units.
These were the types of commonly used glasses in construction.