Float glass is mainstreamed in modern architecture and manufacturing, and has a broad range of applications due to its universal properties.
This article explores float glass, its uses, and why it’s popular.
What is Float Glass?
The technique of production known as the “float glass process” involves layering molten glass on top of molten tin during the manufacturing stage. The creation of float glass is the end outcome of this process. A faultless sculpture is produced as a consequence of the glass being allowed to float on top of everything else and then being allowed to spread out evenly.
The use of this method ensures precision and control, which, in turn, leads to an exceptionally smooth finish; hence, float glass is the material of choice for this application.
Characteristics of Float Glass
Float glass stands out with its unique qualities, making it different from other types of glass. Its remarkably smooth surface results from the float process, giving you a clear and undistorted perspective.
These characteristics include:
- Parallel and Smooth Surfaces: The float process results in surfaces that are perfectly flat and parallel, providing an unobstructed and clear view.
- Resistance to Scratching: A key feature of float glass is its robust ability to resist scratches and surface wear.
- Weight: For every millimeter of thickness, float glass has a weight of approximately 2.5 kilograms per square meter.
- Coloration: Standard float glass often has a slight greenish tint, particularly at the edges. However, utilizing raw materials with low iron oxide content can produce a variant with a lighter hue.
- Transmittance of Light: Regular float glass, with a thickness of 3-10 millimeters, allows about 85-90% of light to pass through, while this percentage increases in the case of white glass.
- Resistance to Thermal Shock: Float glass is capable of withstanding sudden temperature changes up to 40 Kelvin, providing resistance to thermal shock.
Benefits of Float Glass
Many industries use float glass owing to its unique qualities and adaptability. Numerous characteristics make it a popular option for many applications.
Improved Optical Clarity
In many fields, float glass is in high demand because it is known for having excellent visual clarity.
To put it another way, it lets light pass through without any problems, so you can see clearly. With float glass, everything seen through it is shown correctly, with true colors and sharp features. It can be used in windows or car windshields.
Since it is very clear, it is a great choice for situations where clarity is important. This is a big part of why it is so important in today’s world. Aside from making float glass look better, its visual clarity also makes it safer in many situations, like when it’s used as windshield glass in cars.
Strength and Durability
Float glass is very strong and durable, which makes it a great choice for uses that need strong, long-lasting materials.
Its high tensile strength means it can handle loads and forces that would break or shatter other materials. This makes it a popular choice for windows, curtain walls, and other building parts.
As an example, towers and other high-rise buildings use float glass, which shows how durable it is. Even though they are exposed to high winds, significant changes in temperature, and other natural factors, float glass displays don’t bend or break over time.
This long-lasting toughness shows how valuable and useful float glass is in many fields.
Another thing that makes float glass special is that it is perfectly flat. The float method makes this possible by letting the molten glass spread out evenly over a layer of melted tin. This makes sure that the finished glass sheet is flat all over.
Traditional ways of making glass can’t make this surface so perfectly flat and smooth. Light doesn’t bend or warp in float glass because it is so flat. This means that you can see clearly through the glass.
This important trait is very important in places like mirrors and picture windows where accuracy and clarity of vision are very important.
If you’re making big mirrors for gyms or dancing studios, for example, the better flatness of float glass ensures an exact, non-warped image, which is necessary for getting a good sense of shape and movement.
Float glass is known to be customizable – meaning business owners or even domestic house owners can pitch in a request depending on their needs.
Due to its regular consistency and physical stability, it can be cut, ground, drilled, sharpened, or finished to fit a wide range of needs.
Float glass, for instance, may be easily shaped to meet the particular requirements of interior design for a certain structure. It is also possible to build beautiful glass decorations with it, such as splashbacks for kitchens and showers, shelving units, and even decorative glass pieces.
Additional treatments, such as coloring for the purpose of sun management or coating for the purpose of energy efficiency, may offer float glass characteristics that are one of a kind. Because of this, it is a highly versatile material that may be used for a variety of applications, including those that are both useful and ornamental.
Float glass is a material that is affordable yet provides a high level of performance.
This makes it a cost-effective choice. Its production method is one that is both cost-effective and scalable, which results in it having a lower price point than other kinds of specialized glasses.
The cost of tempered or laminated glass is much more than that of float glass, which normally ranges from $5 to $7 for a square foot of glass with a thickness of 3/16 inches.
Because of its low cost, it is an appealing choice for applications on a large scale, such as the glazing in skyscrapers or the usage in the production of automobiles, both of which place a high premium on finding a good balance between quality and price.
Industries that Float Glass is Used for
Float glass, with its remarkable qualities, has found wide-ranging applications across various industries, profoundly impacting the way we live and work.
Construction and Architecture
Glass facades, made of large panels of float glass, are common in contemporary architecture, providing a sleek, modern look and reducing energy consumption.
Float glass is also used in double-glazed windows for insulation and soundproofing. It’s utilized in producing safety and fire-resistant glass for doors and partitions, offering enhanced protection without compromising aesthetics.
The use of float glass in architecture highlights its critical role in shaping modern construction trends.
Float glass is used in the car industry due to its high quality, strength, and clarity, which are crucial for safety and aesthetics.
It is commonly employed in manufacturing windshields and windows for cars, buses, and other vehicles. Its transparent and flat nature ensures a clear view, promoting safe driving.
Additionally, its durability makes it ideal for frequent use in automobiles. For example, layered float glass windshields prioritize safety by preventing harm from broken glass through a plastic layer. The use of float glass in the automotive sector highlights its significance in enhancing safety and style in vehicles.
Solar Energy Industry
Float glass is crucial in the solar energy industry, particularly for making solar panels. These panels, consisting of multiple solar cells, need a protective and transparent cover to let sunlight through.
With its clarity and durability, float glass serves this purpose effectively. It shields the solar cells from weather conditions while ensuring maximum sunlight reaches them for electricity conversion.
For instance, rooftop solar panels in residential and commercial buildings use float glass as the top layer for protection.
This enables effective solar energy utilization, promoting energy efficiency and sustainability. The use of float glass in solar panels showcases its versatility and relevance in our daily lives, while encouraging the adoption of renewable energy sources.
Electronics and Display Systems
Float glass plays a crucial role in electronics and display systems. Its transparency and smoothness make it perfect for digital device screens like TVs, monitors, smartphones, and tablets.
For example, your smartphone’s LCD screen likely uses float glass, providing high-resolution visuals for videos, browsing, and gaming.
The durability of float glass ensures long-lasting devices that resist wear and tear. This highlights its integral role in user-friendly electronics that are part of our daily lives.
Furniture and Interior Design
In furniture and interior design, float glass is often the material of choice for its aesthetic appeal, versatility, and durability.
Its crystal-clear transparency and sleek finish allow designers to create decorative items like glass tables, shelves, and partitions, adding sophistication and elegance to any room.
For example, coffee tables with float glass tops serve a functional purpose while serving as a visual centerpiece. In commercial spaces like offices or restaurants, float glass partitions provide openness while maintaining separate spaces, emphasizing its role in shaping modern design aesthetics.
GLASHern – Trusted Supplier and Manufacturer of Float Glass
At GLASHern, we pride ourselves on providing the highest quality float glass to suit a variety of needs. Whether you’re engaged in a massive construction project, an automotive manufacturer, or a solar energy solutions provider, we have the right float glass solution for you.
Browse our extensive product range and make an inquiry today. Let’s shape the future together with GLASHern’s float glass. Contact us now for more details!