Glass can do most anything. From bottles to spacecraft windows, glass products include three types of materials:
- Formers are the basic ingredients. Any chemical compound that can be melted and cooled into a glass is a former. (With enough heat, 100% of the earth's crust could be made into glass.)
- Fluxes help formers to melt at lower temperatures.
- Stabilisers combine with formers and fluxes to keep the finished glass from dissolving, crumbling, or falling apart.
Formers: Most commercial glass is made with sand that contains the most common former, Silica. Other formers include:
- Anhydrous Boric Acid
- Anhydrous Phosphoric Acid
- Soda Ash
- Lithium Carbonate
- Barium Carbonate
- Strontium Carbonate
- Zinc Oxide
Based on an article from the Corning Museum of Glass