Glass has been made and used by humans for thousands of years, although the industrial production and use of glass only started in the middle of the 19th century. Glass is a solid, transparent and amorphous material consisting mainly of silicon dioxide. It has many favourable properties that make it significant, such as transparency, many possibilities of shape and colour, resistance to most chemicals, low thermal conductivity and low electrical conductivity. However, glass is also susceptible to impact and is brittle. Soda-lime glass, lead glass and borosilicate glass make up the bulk of today’s glass production. Glass is also divided according to the form of glass, including flat glass (building), hollow glass (bottles, drinking vessels), glass tubes (laboratory equipment), foam glass, glass wool, glass fibres and coloured glass.

Figure 25 Glass
Typical Applications
Construction flat glass, glass wool
Automotive headlights, windscreens
Consumer goods furniture parts, tableware, lighting, cooking utensils
Medical laboratory glass
Packaging container glass
Electronics fibres for printed circuit boards, substrate glass for displays, optical glass fibre
Fibres textile glass fibres, reinforcement fibres for plastics
Miscellaneous lenses, art glass, decorative enamels, chemical equipment

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