Aluminosilicate glass, in case you didn’t know, is one of the most-used glass types in commercial and industrial sector. It’s not the standard glass you see that can chip, crack, break, and transform easily, in fact, it’s the other way around.
In this article, we will give you a comprehensive run through of aluminosilicate glass. We’ll get you all the information you need before you decide whether it is the glass type you really want and need! Together, we’ll find out why it’s used, why it’s important, who it is for, and many more! Without further ado, let’s head onto the guide!
What is Aluminosilicate Glass?
Aluminosilicate glass, a cutting-edge material, is a versatile and high-performance glass variant that combines aluminum, silicon, and oxygen. It offers exceptional qualities, including high thermal resistance, remarkable durability, and remarkable resistance to chemical corrosion.
Its extensive use spans various industries, from electronics, construction, engineering, and interior design to automotive applications, aerospace projects, and even military and defense.
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Aluminosilicate Glass vs. Gorilla Glass: Which is Better For You?
Gorilla Glass and aluminosilicate glass are two of the most popular types of glass because of their strength and resistance properties. But what is the best for you? Which glass type should you consider your go-to glass type?
In deciding, we need to look at their differences for us to gauge the type and kind of application with it. Here’s a table that outlines each of their properties and characteristics.
Characteristics and Properties
Corning Gorilla Glass
Primarily made up of 57-60% silicon dioxide (SiO2) and 16-20% aluminium dioxide (Al2O3), with minor constituents like lime (CaO), magnesium oxide (MgO), and boron trioxide (B2O3).
A type of chemically fortified glass, produced and marketed by Corning.
Strength and Scratch-Resistance
Renowned for its robustness and resistance to scratches, making it a preferred choice for handheld devices. Its hardness is on par with sapphire
Engineered to be slim, lightweight, and resilient to damage. Its hardness is also akin to that of sapphire.
Possesses a thermal expansion coefficient of 9.8×10-6 1/K (at 300°C), which makes it an ideal sealing material in high-temperature systems.
Not specified by the brand
Capable of enduring temperatures as high as 800°C, similar to ceramics.
Not specified by the brand
Demonstrates resistance to chemical degradation with a slow dissolution rate.
Not specified by the brand
The production process is intricate but yields superior properties. It involves an ion-exchange process.
Produced using an ion-exchange process where the glass is submerged in a hot bath of potassium salt.
Usage and Application
Aluminosilicate glass is widely used in mobile devices due to its high strength and scratch resistance. It’s also used in glass bulbs for halogen lamps, high-temperature thermometers, and thermally and electrically highly loadable film resistors.
Gorilla Glass is primarily used as cover glass for portable electronic devices, including mobile phones, smartwatches, portable media players, portable computer displays, and television screens. It’s also used in the design of foldable electronic devices and technical components.
These are the primary differences between aluminosilicate glass and Gorilla Glass. We can therefore conclude that the better option will depend on the type of application you’ll be using them for. One characteristic is not enough to prove that they’re better or worse than the other.
Types of Aluminosilicate Glass
Figure 2: Aluminosilicate glass units have two types and kinds
Over the years of studying and researching aluminosilicate glass, experts were able to come up with the fact and idea that aluminosilicate glass is categorized into two types: alkali-aluminosilicate glass and alkaline earth aluminosilicate glass.
Now that we know the different types and categories, let’s go ahead and discuss what they are independently!
This aluminosilicate glass type is usually between 10 and 25 percent aluminum oxide with 10+ percent alkali. Thanks to their high alkali content, the ion-exchange with bigger alkali ions is bigger, aiding the improvement and development of surface compressive strength.
Due to the strength, the most common uses and applications of alkali-aluminosilicate glass include laminated safety glass products, solar cells, touch displays, and others of the like.
Alkali Earth Aluminosilicate Glass
On the other end of the spectrum, alkali earth aluminosilicate glass units contain aluminum oxide levels between 15 and 25 percent, with a 52 to 60 percent silicone dioxide and 15 percent alkaline earth. It’s more malleable and flexible compared to alkali-aluminosilicate glass, making it suitable for applications such as:
- High-temperature thermometers
- Loadable film resistors
- Halogen lamp bulbs
- And many more
Both are aluminosilicate glass units, and both have the same mechanical and chemical properties. Their differences lie on the application because using one is better than the other.
How Good Is Aluminosilicate Glass?
Figure 3: High-quality aluminosilicate glass in two different sizes
The question “how good” aluminosilicate glass is, is kind of relative, considering the fact that aluminosilicate glass has multiple properties and characteristics. But, for this particular question, what we’re talking about is strength.
Generally speaking, aluminosilicate glass, specifically those at low levels of alkali content, are strong and resilient. Its recorded compressive strength during test methods stand at C 240-85, which has a value of 700kPa.
Its flexural strength, or the strength in a material before it yields in a flexure test, sits at 400kPa in a C 303 test method. It is an overall strong glass type, just not as strong as others within its range and classification.
What is Aluminosilicate Glass Used For?
Figure 4: Aluminosilicate glass application for shipyard and shipbuilding
Aluminosilicate glass, as mentioned, is a flexible and versatile material. Due to its flexible property, companies and organizations use aluminosilicate glass with a wide variety. Among its top applications, the following are what many consider as the primary ones:
- Mobile Devices: Aluminosilicate glass is a popular choice for screen protectors on mobile devices due to its high strength and scratch resistance.
- Aerospace: This type of glass is used in space shuttle windows, offering excellent performance in extreme conditions.
- Defense & Military: The sheer strength and resilience of aluminosilicate glass make it a perfect component in the defense and military industry.
- Electronics: Aluminosilicate glass is used in microelectronics due to its excellent performance and high transformation temperature.
- Deep-Sea Exploration: Its excellent performance makes it suitable for use in deep-sea exploration equipment.
- Medical and Pharmaceutical: Thanks to its rigidity, it’s been used in several applications and usages in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors.
- Lighting and Fixtures: Aluminosilicate glass is used for glass bulbs in halogen lamps, providing high-temperature resistance.
- Architecture & Engineering: All of its features and characteristics combined make it an important ingredient in the engineering and architecture sector.
Is Aluminosilicate Glass the Same as Tempered Glass?
No, it’s not. One of the most common misconceptions about aluminosilicate glass is that it is the same with tempered glass. Let’s back down a few steps and look at how they’re different.
- Aluminosilicate glass is a glass type that has substantial levels of aluminum oxide, making the glass product stable, durable, and stronger than other standard glass types.
- Tempered glass, on the other hand, is a procedure where a glass type is tempered and strengthened in order to become more durable.
They are different in ways that aren’t really comparable. Aluminosilicate glass is a type of raw glass material, meaning, it can still be tempered, hardened, chemically-strengthened, and designed, whereas tempered glass is any glass type that has undergone the tempering process to make it stronger and more resistant to scratches and cracks.
Pros and Cons of Aluminosilicate Glass
Like many others, aluminosilicate glass has its pros and cons. It’s not a perfect glass type, and, therefore, you can’t expect it to be all rainbows and butterflies. There are a few advantages and disadvantages to using aluminosilicate glass, and that’s what we’ll find out!
Pros of Aluminosilicate Glass
Let us briefly tackle and discuss the advantages and pros of aluminosilicate glass.
High Strength and Scratch Resistance
Aluminosilicate glass is renowned for its high strength and scratch resistance, making it ideal for mobile devices. The high alkali content in aluminosilicate glass gives it intrinsic strength, stronger and more durable than other glass types.
High Thermal Expansion
Aluminosilicate glass has a coefficient of thermal expansion of 9.8×10 -6 1/K (at 300°C), making it suitable as a sealing material in hot systems and equipment. Adding the fact that it’s able to resist highly-fluctuating temperatures, it’s a sure go!
Resistance to High Temperature
Talking about temperature resistance, this type of glass has a high resistance to temperature, with an annealing temperature of up to 800°C and a Vicat softening temperature reaching up to 1010°C. Its temperature resistance is comparable to ceramics, which we all know as something that does not virtually heat up at all.
Resistance to Chemical Degradation
The chemical durability of aluminosilicate glass has been confirmed in studies. The dissolution rate of this material is low at 10 -4 g/ (m 2 ·day) under saturated conditions.
Lightweight and Ideal for Touchscreens
Aluminosilicate glass is very lightweight, which makes it perfect for touchscreens and touchscreen protectors. Its lightness does not compromise its strength, making it a preferred choice for many electronic devices.
Those are just a few of the primary advantages and pros of aluminosilicate glass products. There are others, of course, but they will only be marked and identified as pros in their own industries.
Figure 5: Aluminosilicate glass units are resistant to temperature
Cons of Aluminosilicate Glass
Now that we know their pros and advantages, let’s take a look at the cons or disadvantages of aluminosilicate glass.
Aluminosilicate glass, compared to standard glass, is a lot costlier and more expensive. Because of its specialized features and characteristics, add the fact that it’s rarer than normal glass, it will come out to be more expensive.
Hard to Fabricate
Due to its heat resistance, aluminosilicate glass is much more difficult to melt and therefore to fabricate than borosilicate glass. This can increase the cost and effort in production, painting the picture why it’s costlier and more expensive than other types.
Low Flexural Strength
The flexural strength of annealed aluminosilicate glass is lower than that of chemically strengthened glass. In simpler words, this means that it may be more prone to breakage under certain conditions, especially when it comes to the trait of flexibility.
Not Immune to Chemical Attacks
Last but most definitely not least is its subjection to chemical attacks. Aluminosilicate glass needs to be protected on the inner side (i.e., the side facing steam or liquid) to avoid fast chemical attack. This requirement can add complexity to its use in certain applications.
Aluminosilicate Glass Price: How Much is Aluminosilicate Glass?
Aluminosilicate glass is a special type of glass. It’s used in many things, like windows and screens. The price can change based on where you are and what you need it for. For example, in China, the price is cheap because there’s a lot of it available, thousands of suppliers are there.
In the US, however, the price is expensive because one, there aren’t a lot of suppliers, and two, people aren’t building with the material that much.
The prices can also vary in size – the bigger it is, the more expensive. Some places sell it by the square meter, while others sell it by the piece. But, to give you an average, aluminosilicate glass units can range between $1 and $10 per unit.
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Overview of the Properties of Aluminosilicate Glass
Let’s get technical. Aluminosilicate glass, just like any other type of glass, is special because of its rare features. Let’s take a look at some of aluminosilicate glass’s characteristics and properties to further understand how special it is.
Because there are different types and kinds of aluminosilicate glass, we can rule out that there are different chemical compositions of it. But, in the typical sense, aluminosilicate glass units have 20 to 40 percent alumina or aluminum oxide.
If we are going to dig deeper, the common combination of aluminosilicate glass is:
- 20.5 percent aluminum oxide
- 57 percent silica
- 12 percent magnesium
- 5.5 percent lime
- 4.0 percent Boron Trioxide
- 1 percent soda
NOTE: Remember that this is only the common composition of aluminosilicate glass. This is not the same composition as every manufacturer’s.
The melting point of aluminosilicate glass runs up at 800 °C. This means, it will only melt if the temperature is consistent at 800 °C. Its softening temperature, however, sits at 1,010 °C. Meaning, if the temperature reaches 1,010 °C, then, the glass will become molten, loosen up, and become soft.
Hardness levels imply the strength of a material. In other words, it denotes how hard the material is, in the case of it being scratched, cracked, and damaged. The hardness level of aluminosilicate glass stands at 480 to 670 HV (Vickers Hardness) and a Knoop Hardness of 500 to 650 HK2.
In the Mohs scale, it is about 7. Above it includes sapphire crystal at 9 and real diamonds at 10.
And last but most definitely not least is aluminosilicate’s chemical resistance. It is deemed that aluminosilicate has excellent levels of chemical resistance because of notable alkali content. This basically means that aluminosilicate glass won’t corrode when subjected with different types and kinds of chemicals.
Are you on the hunt for premium-quality aluminosilicate glass without putting a hole in your pocket? If you are, then we at GLASHern are here, ready to help you out with whatever you need aluminosilicate glass for.
Our expertise and overall experience are living proof that you can get world-class quality aluminosilicate glass without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to start. You can get it for only a few MoQs and without any commitment!
- We have a Research & Development (R&D) team ready at your disposal
- Our team is comprised of highly-experienced engineers and glassmaking experts
- We have a history of 200+ products
- Our service extends to 50+ countries
Reach out to us and get a free estimate of the aluminosilicate units you need!