Last time we talked about some little-known facts about glass. In this blog we’ll look at more of them.
Never Wears Out
One of the little-known facts about glass concerns its longevity. Glass literally never wears out. This makes it very appropriate for recycling. Recycling one glass bottle can save enough energy to power a 100-watt lightbulb for four hours or a computer for 30 minutes.
When one ton of glass is recycled, it saves the equivalent of ten gallons of oil.
Today in the U.S. about 80% of glass bottles go through recycling, but only about 25% of plastic containers do. Most glass bottles and jars contain about 25% recycled glass.
Been Around A Long Time
Another of the little-known facts about glass pertains to how far back in time people made and used glass. Evidence shows the area around Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Syria held glass-making shops about 3000 B.C. However, later than that the Romans spread the use of glass around their part of the world. We have them to thank for the beginning of wide-spread use of glass.
The use of glass in decorative products probably came from the art and science of glass blowing. About 2000 years ago in the Middle East this technique originated. The glassmakers then developed a hollow metal pipe still in use today to gather molten glass on the end and form a glass bubble on the other end. Then the glassmaker blows into the opposite end of the pipe and makes a glass product from the bubble. This early process made the clear type of glass we enjoy today.
Prior to this, glass typically was made by grinding and casting the glass materials resulting in an opaque glass that looked like pottery. Captain John Smith brought the technique of glass blowing to America.
Just a couple more of the little-known facts about glass.
In the Middle Ages Italian glass blowers lived on the island of Murano. Rumor has it that they were taken there to preserve the secrets of their advanced techniques. Likely also they lived there to prevent fires spreading from their furnaces.
In glass blowing, the finished product must be cooled for a long time, hours to days, in a temperature-controlled place called an annealer. If the glass product cools too quickly it forms a crystallin structure making it much more fragile.
Still more of the little-known facts about glass.
When you have any glass need, call FEDERAL GLASS AND MIRROR. Mike and John Purpura have a long family history of excellence in many types of glass replacement and installation.