Explanation Of Glass Shaping Operations And Product Types

After the glass is produced from its raw materials, these molten glasses are shaped into required shapes to produce required glass products. In here, we explain the general glass shaping processes available in the glass industry.

What Are The Glass Shaping Processes?

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Casting Operations Of Molten Glass: Glass is sufficiently melted to cast inside molds to obtain special glasswares. Casting o glasses are generally done for the casting of big telescope lenses and kinds of applications like this. Slow solidification is very important to prevent internal crackings of glass products.

Glass casting operation.

Spinning Operations: This is a very basic process that is used in the production of glass cathode tubes and television tubes. There is a spinning metalmold that a piece of molten glass is put inside it. With the rotation, molten glass takes the shape of a spinning metal mold. This is a similar process to the centrifugal casting of metals.

Rolling Operations Of Glass: Rolling operations are applied to molten glass to obtain flat shapes such as window glasses. A bunch of rollers gives the flat shape to glass which is came from melting furnaces. Required annealing and additional processes are applied after rolling of glass to obtain flat, parallel, and smooth glasses.

Glass rolling representation.

Centrifugal Spraying Of Molten Glass: A special bowl that has very small holes around it is rotated. And molten glass is flown on this bowl. With centrifugal force, molten glass is forced to flow from these holes. So, very thin glass wools are obtained. These glass wools are generally used in both thermal insulation and sound insulation.

Floating Process Of Molten Glass: In the floating process of glasses also, flat shapes are obtained. But the smoothness of produced flat glasses is superior over the rolled glasses. And there is no need for the application of the additional process to obtain the required smoothness. Molten metal is directly came from a melting furnace, and it is floated on the liquid tin. When the uniform thickness of the glass is obtained, the glass is drawn to the annealing section.

Pressing Operation: Pressing processes are the most common process that is applied to molten glasses to obtain customer products such as kitchenware, automobile headlights, etc. Very basic pressing mechanisms are used to obtain required shapes from molten glasses.

Glass Tube Production With Drawing Operations: This is a very special process that molten glass is supplied onto a rotating mandrel which blows air from the edge. With the airflow, a hollow shape is given to the fluxing molten glass. The size of the mandrel and the rate of airflow determines the thickness and size of the tube. Laboratory glassware, fluorescents, and products like them are produced.

Glass tube production section.

Glass Filament Production: Glass filaments are generally used in fiber-glass reinforced composites. These glass fibers are produced with special plates which have hundreds and thousands of holes on them. These plates are produced from platinum alloy. Molten glass is drawn on this plate. When molten metal is passed through these holes, glass filaments are obtained. These filaments are rolled on spools. But before rolling, they are generally coated with some additives for protection.

Glass filament production(Image Source: Compositesworld).

Blowing: Glass blowing is a very old technique to obtain glass containers and shapes like that. But in today’s technology, blowing is applied with fully automated techniques. There are two types of glass blowing operations;

  • Multiple Blowing Of Glass: Multiple steps of blowing operations are applied to molten glass pieces to obtain the required shapes.
  • Blowing After Pressing: Molten glass piece is blown right after pressing it to obtain the required shapes.
Glass blowing machine.

Conclusion For Glass Forming Processes

Glass is one of the most important materials for our civilization. There are lots of engineers labor forces and scientists that are working for the development of glass production processes.

This article includes very basic information about the general glass forming processes that are generally used in industry. You can determine the general production process of a glassware product with this article.

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