Minerals, Metals, and Other Materials

Man-Made Products

What is the float glass process?

Manufacture of high-quality flat glass, needed for large areas and industrial uses, depends on the float glass process, invented by Alastair Pilkington (1920–1995) in 1952. The float process departs from all other glass processes where the molten glass flows from the melting chamber into the float chamber, which is a molten tin pool approximately 160 feet (49 meters) long and 12 feet (3.5 meters) wide. During its passage over this molten tin, the hot glass assumes the perfect flatness of the tin surface and develops excellent thickness uniformity. The finished product is as flat and smooth as plate glass without having been ground and polished.


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