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Advantages and Disadvantages of Glass


A transparent, non-crystalline, and amorphous solid that has widespread application in decorative, practical, and technological use in, for example, optics, window panes, and tableware. It develops due to the rapid cooling of the molten form, and some glasses form naturally, such as volcanic Glass.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Glass

The most familiar type of Glass and historically produced Glass is "silicate glasses," based on silica compound, and the primary constituent is sand. Soda lime glasses contain 70% of silica, accounting for 90% of the Glass. Despite the glasses being brittle, they will survive very long, and some glass fragments will exist from early glass-making cultures. Evidence suggests that glass-making culture goes back to 3600 BC in Egypt, Syria, and Mesopotamia.

Glasses were earlier known as beads and developed accidentally during metalworking or in the manufacturing of faience. Since glasses can be easily moulded into desirable shapes, they have been widely used in making drinking glasses, bowls, vases, jars, and bottles. In solid form, it is used in marbles and paperweights.

Manufacturing of Glass

The production of Glass is expensive and consumes a lot of time. It requires intensive labour in the beginning, but with the emergence of a unique glass manufacturing method, the production of Glass has become effective, affordable, and simple. The process has assumed wide popularity:

Some of the few straightforward steps that are involved in the manufacturing of Glass are:

  1. Readying a raw material batch. Melt the basic material in the furnace.
  2. Turn the Glass into the desirable shape
  3. Annealing Technique

The materials that are melted for the formation of Glass are:

Calcium Carbonate, Potash (KOH), Pure sand (SiO2) (KOH) at a temperature of more than 1000 degrees Celsius. In simple words, we can observe that it is an amalgamation of sodium, potassium, and calcium silicates.

Annealing Technique

This involves heating the material temperature above its recrystallization temperature, keeping it for an adequate time, and letting it cool down.

Glass Building Properties

Advantages and Disadvantages of Glass

Compressive Strength of the Glass Material

It has compressive strength off 1000N/mm square= 1000MPa. It possesses low tensile strength than compressive strength.

Tensile Strength

It always possesses high compressive stress resistance and low tensile resistance.

  • Resistance to Tensile Strength: 40N/mm square
  • Toughened Glass resistance ranges from 120-200 N/mm square at 200 degrees Celsius.

Young's Modulus or Modulus of Elasticity

The material's stiffness can be determined with the help of Young's Modulus of elasticity. A higher value of Young's Modulus exhibits material rigidity.

Young's Modulus of the Glass at 200 degrees Celsius is 70GPa and for the concrete is 30-50GPa.

Glass Poisson Ratio

It is also termed as Lateral contraction co-efficient. It says that material expansion and contraction in one direction due to force. Glass loses its cross-sectional area when it is stretched. The Poisson ratio of the Glass is 0.22.

Coefficient of Thermal Expansion or Glass Linear Expansion

Glass's linear expansion coefficient is 9 x 10-6m/MK.

Types of Glass Used in the Construction Industry

1. Shatterproof Glass

This type of Glass is used for windows, skylights, floors, etc. In its manufacturing, polyvinyl butyral is added. Due to this, the glasses cannot be shattered into pieces.

2. Extra Clear Glass

The main qualities of the extra clean or clear Glass are hydrophilic and Photocatalytic. It makes the Glass more stain-resistant. It provides a very pleasant appearance and requires simple maintenance.

3. Float Glass

It is also referred to as soda lime glass. It is composed of sodium silicates and calcium. It generates glare as it is clear and flat. Float glass weight ranges from 6-36 kg/m square. Thickness is between 2-20mm. It has widespread uses, such as public spaces and storefronts.

4. Laminated Glass

The regular layers of Glass are merged to get laminated Glass. It is bulkier than regular Glass. These glasses are UV resistant, robust, and soundproof. These types of glasses are easily observed in bridges and aquariums.

5. Chromatic Glasses

Chromatic glasses are used in conference rooms, ICUs, and other space that consumes chromatic Glass. The Glass has the property of regulating the sunlight and can protect the interior design from the sunlight. It is thermos chromatic and sensitive. Besides this, it is also electrochromic and heat-sensitive because of lamination.

6. Toughened Glass

It is a tough material and has poor visibility. When it shatters, it forms little granular bits. It is used in screen protectors and fire-resistant doors. Sometimes it is also called tempered Glass.

7. Insulated Glass

This Glass is divided into 2-3 layers. One layer is enclosed in insulated glazed glass units by vacuum or air. Since air is present between the layers, they behave as effective insulators. It is also sometimes known as "double-glazed units."

Advantages of Glass

  • Those glasses that absorb, transmit, or refract light can be turned into a translucent and transparent material.
  • It can transmit 80% of the natural daylight in both directions without weathering, yellowing, or clouding.
  • It has the property of weather resistance, can withstand the effects of wind, the sun, or rain, and can retain its appearance and integrity.
  • It does not have the property of rusting like iron, so it cannot degrade by surrounding and environmental effects.
  • It has a smooth surface, so it is easy to clean and dustproof.
  • The Glass allows the passing of natural light in the house if the windows and doors are shut, and it saves much energy, reduces the electricity bill, and enhances the home's beauty. Most significantly, it freshens up the mood of the resident.
  • Glass behaves as an excellent insulator against electric current.
  • Glasses are available in multiple colours, and when glass sheets are merged in laminated or insulated units, they alter appearance and colour.
  • The glasses are flexible,e., drawn, blown, and turned into any shape. Therefore, it is widely used for general-purpose windows, workshops, shop fronts, doors, and buildings. The glasses are also used in the furniture after being laminated with a metal sheet or plywood.
  • It provides an amazing way to the exhibition of the product.
  • It is eco-friendly because Glass is a recyclable material and does not lose its properties during recycling.
  • It is ultraviolet stable. Hence it is unaffected by ultraviolet radiation and does not develop cracks, disintegration, and discolouration.
  • It has abrasion resistance property, and it does not allow surface wear to occur due to flat rubbing and contact with other items.
  • It exhibits stability over a wide spectrum of temperatures and is used for wood-burning stoves, cooking tops, high-temperature lenses, and fireplace glass.
  • Glass remains uninfluenced by the air, noise, acids, and water. Therefore, detachment of coating and blistering, discolouration, alteration in the shine, swelling, and softening will not develop. Glass shields from the outside barriers.
  • It can make infrastructure-like buildings sophisticated and stunning, adding beauty to the building. Sometimes, it is applied to obtain architectural views for external purposes.
  • Glasses save space when they are used in interiors.

Disadvantages of The Glass

  • Glass production is highly energy-consuming since it requires high temperatures for refining raw materials. The material is expensive, which adds more cost to the final output.
  • It is brittle and rigid, and when subjected to stress, it breaks easily with insignificant strain. Broken pieces of Glass may cause grievous injury to the body.
  • The Glass gets affected by hydrofluoric acid, and therefore etching is visible on the glass surface.
  • The capability of Glass to withstand significant strain is very poor, and it breaks easily.
  • The application glass also increases the cost of security.
  • It is poor in heat preservation, leading to higher operating costs.
  • Glare is the major issue in the glass façade building.
  • Glass has the property of absorbing heat and therefore behaves as a greenhouse. Therefore, it is not suitable for warm climates and hot temperatures.
  • Alkali ions influence Glass. Alkali solution dissolves the glass surface, and corrosion occurs uniformly.
  • Glass is a non-biodegradable substance, which means it cannot be decomposed. It becomes a natural hazard to the environment.
  • Glass demands regular cleaning of its surface, and it requires high maintenance.
  • Glass provides superior transparency of heat, and hence it needs to be balanced with relative R-value. The R-value is significant in determining the factors for insulating.

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