How Glass is Made

Jul 29, 2016, 14:11 PM by Lisa Burnett

We talk a lot about glass on the Discount Auto Glass blog, but have you ever wondered how it’s actually made? We spend all day installing it and giving quotes on it, but the process in which it’s made is actually pretty cool. We use glass in our cars, trucks, SUVs, homes and for various decorations, just to name a few. We’ve made a quick cheat sheet as to how glass is made.

Glass starts out as a mixture of minerals.

sandBefore glass is transformed into the glass we all know and love, it starts out as a combination of sand, soda ash, limestone and recycled glass. To begin the transformation process, glassmakers must set the combination of the minerals on fire.The mineral mixture takes quite a bit of heat to become a liquid. How hot does it have to be? The mixture has to be heated to 2,600 to 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit to be exact. It takes about three days for the sand mixture to get to the point where it resembles glass, or molten lava.


Glass is formed into a sheet using tin.

To make a glass sheet, like we use for automobiles, the liquid glass is poured into a vat of molten tin, to make a flat sheet. Tin and glass are like oil and water, and don’t mix. During the “tin bath,” the temperature of the glass is decreased from about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit to about 1,000 degrees, when the sheet is transferred to rollers. When the glass makes it to the rollers, it’s slowly cooled, and makes its way into a machine that cuts the glass into smaller squares, where it can be turned into a window, windshield or picture frame.

Glass is laminated to protect drivers and passengers.

broken-glassWindshields come in all shapes and sizes. Once it’s made its way out of the factory, the glass is cut into the desired shape and then must be bent into the familiar curved shape of your car’s windshield. In order to do this, the glass must be heated once again and formed into the shape of the car it is designed for. Once it’s molded, the glass is laminated. Laminating bonds two sheets of glass together between a layer of plastic. This process keeps the glass in one sheet if the glass is broken in some way.

This is just the abridged version of how glass is formed and makes its way to a Discount Auto Glass location. Taking care of your auto glass is important to us, and our Discount Auto Glass crew takes its job very seriously. We’d love to be your go-to crew to help you with your auto glass needs. Give us a call or stop by any of our nine locations across Arkansas and Missouri for a quote today. (501) 377-9575. If you don’t have time to leave your car with us, we can always bring our crew to you! Just ask us when you give us a call.

Quick Quote