Glass production - analysis of glass, cullet and raw materials
HRL provides expert chemical analysis services to support glass production. The analysis services help clients to maintain critical quality control at each stage of production.
Analysis can be used to determine characteristics:
- of raw materials
- as raw materials are mixed, become molten in a furnace, and glass products are formed
- as part of inspecting the final product.
HRL provides analysis of:
- major elements including sodium and calcium oxides, silicon dioxide and boron trioxide
- minor elements including magnesium, aluminium, potassium and barium oxides along with titanium dioxide
- glass colouring agents ferric and chromium oxides
- glass refining agents
- trace elements including lead, cadmium oxide, mercury, arsenic trioxide and zirconium dioxide.
Glass producers face several challenges in maintaining the quality that is critical to achieve efficient production and produce to specification. Maintaining optimum production requires routine quality control of incoming material and of the final product.
Specific challenges include:
- knowing the chemical composition of raw materials to be able to calculate the batch-furnace load to ensure the finished glass has the correct chemical composition
- meeting the extremely tight specifications required for glass production to ensure glass properties are within the specifications and a quality product is achieved.
HRL has extensive analytical capability in glass analysis. The service provides glass producers with high-quality analysis of the chemical composition of the raw materials they use, and the glass products they produce.
Specific service procedures include:
- HRL is dedicated in providing valuable support for problems involving batch composition, glass melting and refining and contamination
- dedicated sample preparation for glass and raw-materials
- using a wide range of certified reference materials and internal control samples to calibrate instruments
- melt tests are performed on new raw materials to help identify problems
- particle size distribution of glass making raw materials and minerals
- chemical oxygen demand
- fast and non-destructive means of analysing elemental compositions of contaminants and unmelted inclusions in glass - "Stones"
- glass density
- heavy mineral separations.
HRL expert glass-analysis services are available to support producers of an extensive range of finished glass products including:
- soda-lime glass
- float glass
- glass beads for road marking
- borosilicate glass
- scientific and quartz glass
- ceramic glass
- fibreglass insulation products.