Q:

What minerals are used to make glass?

A:

Common minerals that are used in glass production include antimony, feldspar, lead, lithium, quartz, silica, sodium carbonate, tantalum, calcite, gypsum, muscovite mica and orthoclase. The principal ingredient of glass is sand, which is primarily composed of quartz or silica.

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Glass is an amorphous, brittle substance that is similar to a "frozen liquid." It is characterized by an absence of long-range order, a substantial number of vacant sites and the lack of atomic planes.

Glass is generally made from liquefied sand that is allowed to cool rapidly. Lime and soda are often mixed with the sand to change the internal structure of the glass. Other compounds such as aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, boron oxide and lead oxide are also used as additives, which directly influence the properties and the type of glass formed.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How is quartz mined?

    A:

    The Encyclopedia of Arkansas explains that commercial mining of quartz is rare and occasionally consists of the use of explosives to first expose the quartz, followed by the operation of small hand tools such as chisels and rock picks to extract portions of the mineral from a quarry. Quartz is quite sensitive to temperature changes, so miners prefer not to use explosives unless absolutely necessary.

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  • Q:

    How many of the common minerals make up 90 percent of the Earth's crust?

    A:

    More than 90 percent of the mineral composition of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals. These silicate minerals differ with each specific compound, as each compound is composed of different elements to form the types of rock that constitute the Earth's crust.

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  • Q:

    What is shocked quartz?

    A:

    Shocked quartz is a state of quartz altered by extreme high pressure. In the 1940s, American scientists discovered it while conducting underground atomic bomb testing. Shocked quartz is found in impact craters caused by meteorites and nuclear bomb explosions. The atoms of quartz are shifted after such a blast occurs.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find quartz?

    A:

    Natural quartz is found in many countries and geologic locations, including the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, France, Namibia and Morocco. Quartz is the second-most abundant mineral in the Earth's crust, and different types of quartz are found in different areas of the world.

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