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What Is Float Glass?

Float glass gets its name from the way its raw materials are turned into sheets of glass: by floating across a bed of molten tin. This type of glass is used in most of our windows, automobiles and TV screens.

Find Out How Float Glass Is Made

Float glass is made primarily from high-quality silica sand in which salt cake, limestone, dolomite, feldspar, soda ash and powdered glass are added to make a batch. Molten glass is poured from a furnace and heated on a molten bed to produce a ribbon of glass.

Once it reaches the desired thickness and size, the glass is transferred from the molten tin chamber into an oven called a “lehr” where it is carefully cooled at different rates depending on the desired strength. This method of glass production is responsible for providing the glass we use throughout our daily lives.

Float Glass: The Standard Cooling Process

The standard process of cooling results in annealed glass. Glass cooled at a faster rate than annealed glass is called heat-strengthened glass, and tempered glass results from an even faster cooling rate that produces glass that is four times stronger than annealed glass.

The glass manufacturer producing the glass will ultimately decide what strength is needed for the job.

What Is Float Glass Used For?

Virtually all of the flat glass you encounter is float glass. It was adopted for a wide range of applications because of its many improvements over plate glass and the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the manufacturing process.

Float glass is produced for a variety of industries including commercial and residential construction, architecture, solar panels, TVs and retail display accessories. All of these applications benefit from its clarity, easy maintenance and transparency.

Additional Benefits of Float Glass

Float glass is used for so many things because it provides these benefits:

  • Allows maximum light transmission for bright interiors
  • Can be produced in variety of colors
  • Can be produced in range of opacities
  • Possesses improved clarity over plate glass
  • Has a very smooth surface with virtually no inclusions or internal defects

Call Glass Doctor® Today

Glass Doctor can provide high-quality float glass for both home and commercial customers. Our specialists are trained and ready to provide you with custom glass solutions that meet your specific needs.

If you want to learn more about float glass and how our specialists create custom mirrors and glass, call the glass experts at Glass Doctor at 855-603-1919 for a free, in-home consultation.



Royal Society Publishing:

How Is Tempered Glass Made?:

Float Glass, Properties and Applications:

Float Glass Manufacturing Video: