The large majority of the commercially important glasses are processed from a carefully calculated batch of raw materials that is then melted in special furnaces. Providing an introduction to melting practices of glass production, this article focuses on various finishing methods of glass products, including forming, grinding and polishing, and explores the advantages, disadvantages and steps involved in sol-gel process. It also discusses the types, processes and properties of annealed, laminated, and tempered glass, and presents the steps involved in glass decoration. The article gives a detailed account of production, properties and application of fiberglass, optical fibers, glass spheres and ceramic glasses, and describes the forms, classification, compositions and properties of glass/metal and glass-ceramic/metal seals.
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