Life Cycle of Glass

Roshan Damodaran and Zach Barron

Raise and Extract

The main component of glass in sand, which makes up over 70% of its composition. Glass is a combination of silicon sand, sodium carbonate, and limestone (calcium carbonate).

It wouldn't work to use straight beach sand, because they contain many iron impurities and would need to be removed before proccessing.

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Process

At the processing center, they combine manganese dioxide with the sand. Next, sodium carbonate and calcium oxide are added to the mixture, which to takes up about 20% of the glass mixture. Then chemicals would be added for the intended purpose, such as bulletproof or a simple window pane. For a simple widow pane, lead oxide is added so that is easier to cut and it also lowers the melting point.
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Manufacture

Then it is placed in a gas-fired furnace. It is heated to 4200 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding sodium carbonate reduces the temp needed to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the glass is poured on molten metal (usually tin) which is used so they can be made into thin sheets. It then passes into a cooling chamber which is around 700 degrees so that the change in temperature isn't extreme. Glass is unable to undergo extreme temperature changes suddenly, which will result in it cracking. It is then shipped out to designers and construction sites across the country.
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Use

Consumers can purchase the glass and have it created to the exact dimensions needed to fit within the space provided. The border is applied between the walls and the glass, usually made of rubber, so that their will not be any scratches or cracks to harm the glass.
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Dispose

Glass is usually recycled by combining it with other newly made glass compositions similar to it. It is smashed into small pieces so that it becomes easier to melt and create into new products again.
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APA Citations

Glass. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.explainthatstuff.com/glass.html


Glass Manufacturing Process | aisglass.com. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.aisglass.com/glass-manufacturing-process


Learn About Glass. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2016, from http://www.gpi.org/learn-about-glass/life-cycle-assessment