The manufacturing of glass has been dated to back before 2500 BC. Back in those days it was considered a prized commodity and art. With the help of the industrial revolution glass has become a common industry and used for a vast variety of products, ranging from art, windows, doors, fiber optic cables, lamps and many other things. But how does one get from sand to the beautiful transparent material we use to let the light fill our homes without sacrificing our comfort.

Well to start, the sand that is used to make glass is not your common beach sand.

In todays glass industry experts use silica sand, also called quartz. This type of sand is used because of its purity. Other types of sand have iron impurities that can cause the glass to be tinted green, however even quartz is not perfectly pure. In order to counter the tinting experts use manganese dioxide.Before the sand begins its journey to glass another chemical is added called sodium carbonate (you may know it as washing soda). The task of sodium carbonate is to lower the overall melting point of the sand, making it easier to turn into glass.

If the glass needs to incorporate a tint other chemicals are added to the mixture to get the desired result. We already spoke about iron producing a greenish tint but there are other materials that produce different colored tints as well. Sulfur compounds produce a yellowish, amber, brownish and even blackish tints depending on how much carbon and iron is added to the mixture.

This mixture is then placed in an oven that is heated to about 3000 Celsius depending on what chemicals are added to the mixture. The mixture is then raked and spread out so that air pockets do not form during the heating process.

After it is raked it is mixed for 10 hours until it turns into liquid glass. Once the glass is in its liquid state a mixing process occurs to remove further impurities like air bubbles and more chemicals like sodium sulfate, sodium chloride or antimony oxide are added.

After this is completed the glass is shaped, but we will get to that in our next blog coming out next week. Check out more of our blog at