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What is a Quartz Tube?

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In the craft of glass making, Quartz tubes have been one of the most advanced, modern, and stylish-looking glass products. But what makes it special? What is in Quartz tube absent in other types of glass product?

To understand Quartz tube even further, let’s carefully look at what it is, how it’s made, where they’re used, and more importantly, how you can figure out if they’re excellent-quality or not.

What is a Quartz Tube?

Figure 1: A quartz tube

A Quartz tube is a type of industrial glass made of silica, and is known for its superior chemical and physical properties like higher points of hardness and better transparency than regular, standard glass tubes. It’s literally Quartz material that’s made and shaped to be a tube in form.

Glass Tube vs. Quartz Tube: Which is Better For Your Application?

It will be difficult to differentiate glass and Quartz tubes by sight. Even if you’re an experienced glassmaker, it would take more than just one look to identify which is which. So, we prepared a simple table that can help you easily identify Quartz from glass tubes, and vice versa.

CharacteristicQuartz Tube Glass Tube
Temperature ResistanceQuartz tubes are heated to up to 1,100 °C, making it highly resistant to extreme high temperatures.Glass tubes aren’t as resistant as Quartz tubes because it’s only made from ordinary glass.
MaterialMade from combination of crystals.Made from non-crystal, isotopic materials.
Heat ResistanceCan withstand hotter environments and temperatures than glass.Can only accommodate standard, non-extreme temperatures.
Corrosion ResistanceHardly reactive with other acids. It has 30 times acid resistance than ceramics and 150 times stainless steel.Resistant to other acids, but phosphoric, phosphorous, and hydrofluoric acids can cause damage.
Durability & SturdinessQuartz glass is stabler and more durable than standard glass – most likely won’t shatter when dropped.Can shatter when dropped and has significantly lower stabilization than Quartz glass.
PressureCan withstand extreme pressure and be used in harsh environments.Can withstand standard pressure, will break or shatter when subjected to extremities.

How is Quartz Tube Produced?


Figure 2: The production of quartz tube

The production of Quartz tube isn’t actually far from how glass is made. In fact, it follows the same process, just in different working conditions and environments.

Industrial Quick Search summarized the entire Quartz tube process into several steps to help in grasping and understanding the production process.

Here’s a video from KEDAR Scientific that demonstrates the production of quartz tubes.

Step #1: Washing and Drying

The very first step in producing Quartz tube is by, of course, ensuring that all raw materials are clean and tidy.

There are a lot of factors that can negatively contribute to the quality of Quartz tube, and they are contaminants, dirt, moisture, even other types of external agents. And so, they’re washed After so, they’re dried up.

Step #2: Comminution

Then, the next step is comminution. This step is what’s responsible for the reduction of the raw quartz into the size desired for machinability. Do note, though, that quartz in itself is brittle in nature, therefore, the processes done to it need to be careful and accurate.

Raw quartz can be crushed and milled to be precisely reduced – it can’t just be crushed because it can splatter into a million pieces.

Step #3: Fusion

When it’s reduced to the desired size, the next step is to break the silicon-oxygen bond using thermal energy. In other words, they’re somehow fused and melted.

There are quite a few different fusion processes for this, all of which have different advantages and disadvantages.

Electric Fusion

The method where quartz raw materials are melted using an electric furnace. The application of an electric current generates the necessary heat to melt the raw materials and form quartz tubes.

Advantages:

  • Precise temperature control ensures consistent quality.
  • Uniform heating results in high-quality, homogenous tubes.
  • Minimal contamination, leading to high-purity quartz.

Flame Fusion or Verneuil Method

Flame fusion involves the introduction of powdered quartz or silicon dioxide into a high-temperature flame. The heat from the flame melts the material, allowing it to solidify and form quartz tubes.

Advantages:

  • Simplicity and lower equipment costs make it accessible.
  • Suitable for producing large-diameter tubes.

Plasma Fusion

Plasma fusion utilizes a high-energy plasma arc to melt quartz raw materials. This method is known for its ability to reach extremely high temperatures efficiently.

Advantages:

  • Extremely high temperatures enable the production of high-purity quartz.
  • Faster melting and overall production.

Electric Arc Fusion

Lastly, Electric arc fusion. This process uses an electric arc to generate intense heat, which melts the quartz materials, forming quartz tubes.

Advantages:

  • High temperatures and rapid melting capabilities.
  • The potential for obtaining high-quality, pure quartz.

Step #4: Shaping and Finishing

Last but most definitely not least is the finishing or shaping step. Of course, raw quartz wouldn’t cut it – it needs to be shaped into a tube. And how is it done? – It can either be through hot forming or mechanical forming.

Hot forming is when quartz is heated to extreme temperatures so it flows, while mechanical forming is when operators use mechanical machines and equipment.

Benefits of Quartz Tube


Figure 3: Quartz tubes have a ton of advantages and benefits

Quartz tube is known to have a ton of advantages and benefits. These benefits can be standalone, meaning, they’re advantages on their own, but can be in comparison to other glass types and materials, too. Here are some of them:

Excellent Temperature Resistance

One of the main qualities that quartz has, that traditional soda-lime glass doesn’t is its high temperature resistance. Glass has maximum temperatures ranging between 350 to 450 °C. Quartz glass’s softening point peaks at 1,730 °C.

You can use it at 1,100 °C for longer periods, and shorter periods at 1,450 °C, but the difference is evident.

Great Corrosion Resistance

Glass is known to be resistant to most acids but phosphorus, hydrofluoric, and phosphoric acids. Corrosion can occur instantaneously when glass is attacked by them. On the other hand, quartz glass is only weak against large amounts of hydrofluoric acid.

NOTE: It is 150 times more corrosion-resistant than stainless steel and 30 times more resistant than ceramics.

Excellent Electrical Insulation

Ordinary glass significantly performs less than quartz glass. In fact, quartz glass is 10,000 times better than regular glass in electrical insulation, regardless of temperature. Thanks to this, quartz glass has been the option for many organizations in the electric, gas, optic, and even military industries.

Good Light Transmission

Quartz glass offers good transmittance over the whole spectrum, from UV to infrared, with visible light transmittance exceeding 93%, and transmittance above 80 in the ultraviolet spectral area. Still clear as day even with all the features it has.

Great Thermal Stability

Last but most definitely not least is, of course, safety. Quartz glass can be subjected to different and changing temperatures without any problem. You can heat it up to 1,100 °C, and then place it into room temperature without it exploding or bursting, whereas, standard glass can become molten at just 800 °C.

Where is Quartz Tube Used?


Figure 4: Applications of quartz tubes

There are numerous applications of quartz glass, particularly within industries that require its features and functionalities. The most common application of quartz glass would be in products like xenon lamps, gas-laser lamps, mercury lamps, x-ray tubes, end caps, thermocouple tubes, sight glasses–you get the point.

In the case of finding the industry, it’s vast. You may find it in almost all industries you can think of, from construction and structural, medical and pharmaceutical to architecture and engineering, it’s there!

Most industrial design companies also make use of quartz as surface material for countertops, kitchen surfaces, and other aeras and surfaces prone to scratching and damage.

Is There a Standard Size for Quartz Tubes?

The short, quick, and easy answer is no, there’s not. The dimensions of quartz tubes can vary widely depending on their intended use and application.

Since quartz tubes are often used in various scientific, industrial, and manufacturing processes, and their size and specifications are chosen based on the specific requirements of the application, there isn’t a single-size fits all measurement.

Here’s a video from VY Optoelectronica Co., Ltd. about customized quartz tubes.

QUARTZ TUBE ATTRIBUTES, PROPERTIES, AND RELEVANT INFORMATION

There are a few significant information about quartz tube you need to know of before you consider using them. These are information that are essential to know, especially if you are to use quartz tube long term.

Chemical Composition

Quartz is made up of crystalline silicon dioxide or SiO2. The atoms of oxygen and silicon join and come together as pyramids (tetrahedrons) and stack together, building crystals.

Melting Point

Quartz melts at about 1,725 °C and a boiling point of 2,230 °C. This is a lot higher and greater than traditional soda-lime glass.

Temperature Limit

Clear fused quartz or natural quartz has an upper temperature limit of 900 °C for continuous use, and about 1,100 °C for limited use. This means, quartz can withstand a continuous upper temperature limit of 900 °C.

Corrosion Resistance

Quartz is known to be stain-proof, but, countertops are not that susceptible to stains.

The design tensile strength for fused quartz with good surface quality is in excess of 4.8 x 10 7 Pa (7,000 psi).

Where Can You Get High-Quality Quartz Tubes?

There are tons of high-quality quartz tubes in the market. However, if you’re looking for reliable quartz tubes, look no further! We here at GLASHern can provide excellent-quality quartz tubes for rates and prices that are extremely low!

Why Consider Working With GLASHern

GLASHern is China’s leading quartz tube manufacturer for almost two decades now. We export in over 50 countries and produce 200+ equipment. With 9 certifications, you can be sure of the quality of our custom glass.

We’re able to provide world-class quality quartz tubes without the need to invest extreme rates and prices! You can count on us to help you with the quartz tubes you’re looking for, wherever you are in the world!

Our Research & Development (R&D) team are always on the run to get you unmatched quartz tube quality. No matter what industry you are in, if you need quality quartz tubes, we are a message away.

How GLASHern Can Help You

GLASHern has been one of China’s top custom glass manufacturers that’s capable of producing a wide array of glass processing and products from acid-etched glass, frosted glass, glass panels to borosilicate glass, sapphire glass, and many more!

We’re known for our quartz tubes, but that isn’t the only masterpiece you can get from us! Get a free estimate of the quartz tubes you need today!

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