Glass is one the most versatile substances on Earth, used in many applications and in a wide variety of forms, from plain clear glass to tempered and tinted varieties. Glass is a favored material for a lot of reasons. Glass has now turned to an inseparable part of modern world. Just think for a second and imagine this world without glass, be it light switch, light bulb or contact lenses or spectacles, television and likewise many more.
Glass is one of the most useful materials in the world. Glass is an amorphous (non crystalline) solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent. In science, however, the term glass is usually defined in a much wider sene, including every solid that possesses a non-crystalline structure and that exhibits a glass transition when heated towards the liquid state. In this wider sense, glasses can be made of quite different classes of materials: metallic alloys, ionic melts, aqueous solutions, molecular liquids, and polymers.
The history of creating glass can be traced back to 3500 BCE in Mesopotamia. The term glass developed in the late Roman Empire. It was in the Roman glassmaking center at Trier, now in modern Germany, that the late-Latin term glesumoriginated, probably from a Germanic word for transparent, lustrous substance. Early forms of glass were probably rife with impurities and subject to cracking and other instability, but examples of glass beads, jars, and eating materials first appeared in ancient Egyptian culture.
Glass is a strange substance, defying easy scientific categorization. It is not a solid, not a gas, and not quite a liquid either. Generally, it is classified as a rigid liquid, maintaining liquid properties while acting like a solid. Heat can return the glass to a liquid and workable form, making it easy to reuse and recycle.
Use of glass is not limited to kitchen wares or decorations only. Glass sets a well-built mark in construction field. Because of its unique features and benefits it is now most demanding building material. Following are few of his benefits which make glass material more appealing:
•Supply of natural daylight
•Protection from rain, wind, and cold
•Transparency or translucency
•Supply of fresh air
•Temporary heat and solar protection
•Use of solar energy
•Means of design
Glass is a bad conductor of heat. A good double layered glass acts as a good insulator, and thus can help in the conservation of Energy and reducing your power bills. Lower heat-loss is achieved by multiple glazing layers, gases and the use of low-e coatings. Sealed glass panes transmit very little sound, and hence can be a good sound insulator. Glass can be used in hospitals to do away with dullness and give the place a cheerful ambience.
In the early 1800’s, individual glass blocks were used to provide light to cellars and ships’ bowels – at first, cut squares of simple conventional glass, then prism-shaped pressed glass which allowed light to be dispersed. The present commercial methods of manufacturing allow glass blocks with a maximum surface of 30cm x 30cm to be produced. They are used to produce straight and curved interior and exterior walls. Glass block provides exceptional visibility. It is also scratch-resistant, and transmits up to 80% of available light in both directions without any yellowing, clouding or weathering.
Glass as a material to be used in buildings has been around for centuries. But the importance that it has assumed in modern architecture transcends its status as a building component and elevates it to a status that perhaps no other material has reached before. Today, glass is not just a means of letting light into a space and achieving protection from the elements, but a statement of style, awareness and an expression of the designer and the client's ideological stand on the environment.
Types of Glass used in the Architectural Field are as follows:
In Geographical market Europe, China and North America account for 75 percent of the global demand for glass. The demand for glass has grown phenomenally in the last two decades, outstripping the GDP growth in most countries.
History of glass in Indian can be traced in 3000BC. The growth of the Indian glass market is impressive. The usage of glass is increasing not only in commercial but also residential buildings instead of the conventional exterior material like brick wall, cement, and granite. In 1908, India’s first glass plant was set up at Talegaon, Pune and All India Glass Manufacturers Association was established in 1944.
The sheer capacity for production of glass in India is so low as compared to other countries. It was an Rs 100 crore market in the year 2000; it is estimated to be more than Rs 1000 crore by now. Even so, this is a very small market size compared to other evolving market for the glass industry.
India is at an early stage in terms of market maturity at present, but glass demand is growing steadily. Aggressive and organized efforts on the part of manufacturers and processors are expected to achieve higher levels of awareness among glass specifies and users. In the next five years, the Indian architectural glass market will move to higher maturity levels. However, policy and regulations including the lack of standards and glass codes for India are a source of anxiety for manufacturers and processors alike. The industry also needs increased exposure. Followed the opening up of FDI for the real estate sector, here appears to be more chance of foreign investors coming in and a greater demand for international standards in construction. This, and the ever-growing popularity of glass as a material, will ensure growth. Further, constant technical innovations by manufacturers are keeping customers constantly interested in glass and glass products.
A visit to the Jodhpur fort’s Moti Mahal will have the guide informing you that the plaster on the walls is a mixture of glass powder and lime as major ingredients. The end product gave the walls a pearl-like luminescence. Recycled glass has been innovatively used in the country for a long time now. With the rising consciousness of environment conservation and green construction recycled glass has come up in several innovative and decorative construction products. Recycling of glass seriously cuts costs of raw materials and energy/fuel. Since glass can be recycled indefinitely as its structure does not deteriorate when reprocessed.
Glass as a material has inspired designers for centuries. In the last few decades though, innovation in glass manufacturing technology has presented designers with varied types of glass to play with. Glass is now available in a range of colors, thicknesses, and sizes. It comes with special properties that make it stronger, heat resistant, energy-efficient, increases light transmission, etc. Glass has become the most commonly used material in buildings today.
Most glass products are formed by modern, complex machines. Trained Technicians, engineers and workers are required for glass making process. Workers in glass production plants include laborers, maintenance workers, inspectors, and supervisors. In addition, the glass industry employs ceramic engineers, technicians, managers, and executives. An apprenticeship program, on-the-job training is usually essential combined with formal classroom instruction. Engineers, administrators, and managers generally need a college degree. A background in ceramic engineering is the usual preparation for a career as an engineer in the glass industry.
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