Useful Materials: Soda-lime-glass

Essay by weeping_bloodHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2006

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Name of the material:

The material I will be writing about is glass. Soda-Lime-Glass will be the main type of glass I will explain in detail even though there are five other main types of glass including: Lead-alkali glass, borosilicate glass, alumino-silicate, silica glass and fused silica glass.

How the material is made:

Glass is composed from four main compounds: Silica (SiO2), Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3), limestone (CaCO3), magnesium carbonate (MgCO3). Additives may be added to improve the quality and colour of glass. The compounds are all than crushed together and heated to a temperature of 1500oC for long periods of time, than the mixture is than quickly cooled down.

Chemical equations:

Na2CO3+SiO2---1,500oC Na2 SiO3 + CO2 ^

Na2 SiO3 + SiO2---Na2SO4 Digestion (Na2O) (SiO2)

Uses for the material:

There are numerous uses for glass, the main uses of soda-lime-glass is bottles and windows, but other types of glass can also be used to make, for example: jars, medical equipment, optical fibres, computer monitors, electronic circuits, drinking glasses, bowls, light bulbs, mirrors, flasks, test tubes, lenses, eye glasses and magnifier glass.


- Is strong, but will shatter if too much tension is applied

- Insoluble in water

- Highly resistant to most chemicals

- Water corrosion is slow at low temperatures

- A good thermal conductor

- Does not conduct electricity

- Light can bounce off glass, be absorbed and go through the glass.

- Glass does not transmit ultra-violet radiation

- Glass transmits infrared radiation

Glass Colouring:

Compound Glass Colour

Antimony Sulphide Red

Antimony oxides White

Cadmium sulphide Yellow

Carbon and sulphur Amber brown

Cerium Yellow

Cobalt oxide Deep blue

Gold Red

Copper compounds Light blue, red

Iron Green and Aqua

Iron and sulphur Amber

Lead with antimony Yellow

Manganese oxide Decolouriser, dark blue, deep...