Thad Ziegler Glass













Learn how glass is made and some tips and tricks on how to care for it properly



Glass plants are like no other facility you’ve ever seen. Large bins called silos hold the raw materials for making glass. The materials are powders that look similar to each other but can produce greatly different results. Large roof ventilators and big stacks release the amazing heat needed to melt these powders to a white-hot liquid. Furnaces are located at the "heat" end of the warehouse. The main ingredient for making glass is silica, in the form of sand. Only exceptionally pure sand can be used to make glass. If the sand contains any trace of iron, for instance, the glass will have a greenish color. Even for ordinary glass in windows, sand must be better than 99 percent pure silica, perfectly white, and not too fine.

Mixing. The main raw materials come to the glass plant on railroad cars and are stored in large silos. These materials are carefully weighed and mixed in the proper proportions called the batch. The manufacturer then adds cullet to the batch. Cullet is either recycled glass or waste glass from a previous melt of the same type of glass. Adding cullet to the batch uses materials that otherwise would be wasted and it also reduces the amount of heat necessary to melt the new batch of raw materials. Sometimes, a new batch of glass will be made entirely from cullet. After mixing, the batch goes to the furnaces in batch cars, hoppers, or on conveyor belts.

Melting. The mixture of raw materials melt at 2600 to 2900 °F (1425 to 1600 °C), depending on its composition. In the early days, batches were melted in refractory pots (small clay pots) that were usually heated by wood fires. Today, special refractory pots hold up to 3,000 pounds (1,400 kilograms) of glass. They’re heated by gas or oil, and a single furnace could contain as many as 6 to 12 pots. Smaller quantities of optical glass, art glass, and specialty glass still are made using refractory pots.

Larger quantities of glass are made by using furnaces called day tanks because of the process that goes on into them takes around 24 hours. The day tank is filled with the raw materials, the glass is melted, and all the glass is used before the furnace is filled once again. Day tanks can usually hold 1 to 4 tons (0.9 to 3.6 metric tons) of glass.

Most glass is melted in huge furnaces called continuous tanks. The largest continuous tanks are able to melt 400 to 600 tons (360 to 540 metric tons) a day for the production of flat glass. Anywhere from 50 to 300 tons (45 to 270 metric tons) of container glass can be melted each day. And smaller continuous tanks are used to produce most of the other glass products. Raw materials are fed into the loading end at the same time the molten glass is removed from the working end. Loading, melting, and working continue from when the fires are first lighted until they are extinguished at the end of a process called a campaign. A campaign may last up to 10 years. The length of a campaign is almost always determined by the time that it takes the refractory brick walls of the furnace to wear out from continued heat and friction of the glass.

Most glass is melted in huge furnaces called continuous tanks. The largest continuous tanks are able to melt 400 to 600 tons (360 to 540 metric tons) a day for the production of flat glass. Anywhere from 50 to 300 tons (45 to 270 metric tons) of container glass can be melted each day. And smaller continuous tanks are used to produce most of the other glass products. Raw materials are fed into the loading end at the same time the molten glass is removed from the working end. Loading, melting, and working continue from when the fires are first lighted until they are extinguished at the end of a process called a campaign. A campaign may last up to 10 years. The length of a campaign is almost always determined by the time that it takes the refractory brick walls of the furnace to wear out from continued heat and friction of the glass.

To receive years of beautiful service from your enclosure requires only a minimum of care and maintenance. You should not use cleaners that might scratch your glass or do damage to the metal finish of your enclosure. Cleaners you should NOT use include: Vinegar or vinegar-based cleaners, Abrasive powders, and Steel or Teflon pads.

How to Clean Your Shower


To find the best cleaners that are also gentle on surfaces, BEMA ( The Bath Enclosure Manufacturers Association) tested some of the most popular cleaners around and found Comet Non-Abrasive Bathroom Cleaner to be the most effective while still being gentle on the glass and metal surfaces of a shower enclosure.

Other good cleaners are: Glass Plus, Scratch Guard, and S.O.S. Vinegar Glassworks.

Cleaners that we strongly do not recommend: Lime-Away, Fantastik, Formula 409, Tough Act, Tackle, and Dow Bathroom and Cleaner.

New Product!
Showerguard is a process that is applied to the glass while it’s being manufactured. It seals the glass to stop build-up from continued use of your shower. Unlike spray-on or wipe-on treatments which eventually wear off, the protection provided by ShowerGuard is part of the glass itself, therefore it never needs to be reapplied. With a minimal amount of cleaning, your ShowerGuard glass will stay beautiful for years to come.

How to Clean Your Mirrors

>
Supplies:

The first thing you need to clean glass is, of course, the cleanser. There’s a wide variety of off-the-shelf cleansers to choose from. The simplest homemade recipe is 1/3 white vinegar and 2/3 water. A more complicated one is shown below:

> ˝ cup sudsy ammonia
> 1 pint 70% isopropyl alcohol
> 1 tablespoon dishwashing detergent
> 1 gallon water

There are a various methods for cleaning glass, some requiring different tools. Here is a list of widely used supplies for cleaning glass. You can choose which tool and method best suits you.

> clean cloths or sponge
> bucket
> squeegee
> rubber gloves
> 1 capful of ammonia
> paper towels
> newspaper
> razor blade

>
Methods:

Mirrors are cleaned very similarly to the way you clean windows. But remember not to use heavy-duty or harsh solutions. Remember the three A's (Abrasives, Alkali, and Acids). Try to stay away from these, as they are very harmful to mirrors. Mirrors have reflective layers of tin, silver, and copper backed by a layer of paint that solvents can be damaged and corrode. The use of any other commercial or household cleansers should do the trick. Please note that mirrors have exposed edges where "spillover" solutions can attack the backing. One way to protect the edges from "spillover" is by applying the cleaning solution to the cloth rather than the mirror. And after you’re done cleaning, wipe the edges clean and dry off any "spillover" with a clean, dry cloth.

>
Tips and Tricks:

> To keep your mirrors looking streak-free, use some old newspapers. They leave no fuzzy lint and they also add a polishing effect.
> If using paper towels use a fresh one for each portion of the glass.
> Sometimes you might find sticky residue or thick spots that you can’t get off. You might try taking a razor blade and scraping it along the glass through the spots and residue at about 30 degrees. This should help peel the residue right off without any scratches on the glass.
> When preparing a washing solution, use as minimal amount of soap as possible to avoid streaking.



Home  |  Products / Services  |  Commercial  |  History  |  Locations  |  Helpful Info  |  Contact Us  |  Apply Here    

San Antonio's oldest and most dependable glass company    
A certified Small Business Enterprise    


   Copyright 2010 Thad Ziegler Glass San Antonio Web Design by Internet Direct