We use glass every day, but most of us don’t think about it very much. It’s just there, in our windows and drinking glasses. But glass is quite fascinating! Here are some interesting facts about glass that you probably didn’t know:
Glass is made from sand: We might be cheating with number one, but it absolutely blows our mind when we sit down and think that Glass is made from sand. It’s one of the most abundant materials on Earth, and we’ve turned it into something beautiful and useful. The sand used to make Glass is a type of silica sand, which is made up of tiny quartz crystals. These tiny crystals are heated until they melt and become a liquid. The liquid is then cooled very quickly, so it doesn’t have time to crystallize again. This is what gives Glass its smooth, non-crystalline structure.
Glass is super strong: You might not think it, but glass is quite strong. It has to be; otherwise, our windows would shatter at the first sign of a storm! The strength of Glass comes from the fact that it’s non-crystalline (see above). The lack of crystal structure means there are no weak points for cracks to propagate through, making it much stronger than materials like ceramic or metal.
Glass is recyclable: You might not have known this, but Glass is one of the most recyclable materials out there. It can be melted down and reused repeatedly without losing any of its quality. In fact, recycled glass is often used to make new glass products. So, next time you’re finished with a glass bottle or jar, recycle it!
Adding minerals to Glass will help to change its color: Minerals are often added to Glass to change its color. For example, iron can be used to make green Glass, while cobalt makes blue Glass. Adding these minerals is a way of changing the properties of the Glass without affecting its strength or clarity.
Glass can be made into different shapes: Glass can be blown into all sorts of different shapes using a variety of techniques. The most common method is “free-blowing,” which involves blowing air into a gathering of molten glass until it takes on the desired shape. Other methods include mold-blowing and pressing.
Glass Can Be Formed by Lightning: We absolutely do not recommend doing this, but it is a fact that glass can be formed by lightning. When a lightning bolt strikes sand, the heat can melt the silica and form glass. This is how natural glass, such as obsidian, is formed.
Glass windows date a long way: One of the earliest records of Glass suggests that glass windows have been around since the 17th century. The first glass windows were found in the ruins of Pompeii, which was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 79 AD.
Glass is used in space: Believe it or not, but glass is actually used quite frequently in space! Telescopes use large pieces of Glass to gather light from distant stars and planets. Glass is also used to make mirrors for satellites. The windows of the International Space Station are made from a type of impact-resistant Glass that can withstand being hit by space debris.
Glass is not solid: You might think that Glass is a solid, but it’s actually what’s known as an “amorphous solid.” This means it doesn’t have a true solid’s regular, repeating crystal structure. Instead, the atoms in glass are arranged in a random, disordered way.
Forever to decompose: Research shows that glass takes a very long time to decompose. In fact, it’s thought that glass can take up to a million years to decompose! This is because glass is made from silica, which is a type of mineral that doesn’t break down easily. So, next time you’re finished with a glass bottle or jar, recycle it!
Lava into Glass: One of the most interesting facts about Glass is that it can be made from lava. When lava cools quickly, such as when it’s thrown into the water, it forms a type of glass known as obsidian. Obsidian is quite popular as a gemstone and is used in jewelry-making.
Glass has been around for centuries: Glass has been around for centuries and was first made by the ancient Egyptians. They created a type of glass called faience, used to make beads and other ornamental objects. Faience is quite similar to modern-day ceramic but has a higher glaze content.
It’s valuable: The world’s most expensive glass piece is the Caduceus, which was created by Lalique in 1911. It sold for $chemyst in 2007. The world’s largest piece of Glass is the Crystal Palace at Sydenham Hill in London. It was built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 and measures 24,000 square feet (2230 square meters). The world’s heaviest piece of Glass is the Cappellin-Oenotrian vase, which weighs 22 pounds (11 kilograms). It was created in Rome in the first century AD.
Glass has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a simple material used to make beads and other ornamental objects. Today, it’s used in various ways, from windows and mirrors to telescopes and satellites. And, with its unique properties, it will continue to be an important part of our lives for centuries to come!