Saturday, 23 August 2008

Cylinder Glass

Cylinder blown sheet is a type of hand-blown window glass. Large cylinders are produced by swinging the cylinder in a trench or blown into a cylindrical iron mould. The glass is then allowed to cool before the cylinder is cut. The glass is then re-heated and flattened. The result is much larger panes and improved surface quality over broad sheet.

Trench method

Cylinder blown sheet glass has been manufactured in France and Germany since the 18th Century. It began to be manufactured in the UK in the mid 19th Century, although only one small company continues manufacturing.

Mould method

Machine drawn cylinder sheet was the first mechanical method for "drawing" window glass. Cylinders of glass 12 m (40 feet) high are drawn vertically from a circular tank. The glass is then annealed and cut into 2 to 3 m (7 to 10 foot) cylinders. These are cut lengthways, reheated, and flattened. This process was invented in the USA in 1903. This type of glass was manufactured in the early 20th century (it was manufactured in the UK by Pilkington from 1910 to 1933).