Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Float Annealing Temperatures


Float glass annealing temperatures vary quite a bit from one manufacturer to another; and even within one manufacturer’s product line.

Comparisons of various float glasses

Some companies are more informative that others.  Pilkington are one of the more open of European glass manufacturers on various bits of information.

Pilkington Float
CoLE 83 *10-5
Softening point:  715°C
annealing point:  548°C
strain point: 511C
Pilkington Optiwhite ™
Softening point:  ca. 732°C
annealing point:  ca. 559°C
strain point:  ca. 526°C

There is a difference of 11C between two of the Pilkington product lines for the annealing points.  The softening and strain points are slightly wider.

Glaverbel, a Belgian company, restricts their information to CoLE and the softening point.
CoLE 91 * 10-5
Softening point: 600°C

Saint-Gobain, a French company, shows some more of the variation in the product lines, although they do not give specific annealing points for the different products.
CoLE 90 * 10-5
annealing range:  520 - 550°C
Low E glass
softening – 840°C
strain - 617°C
R glass (sound reducing)
softening – 986°C
strain - 736°C
D glass (decorative)
softening point – 769°C


Compatibility

Even this small sample of float glasses shows there is a significant difference between manufacturers for the softening, annealing and strain points.  This means that, unless you are sure of the glass merchant’s source of glass, you will need to test each batch of glass for compatibility with previous batches, if you are combining from different suppliers.

I included the CoLE numbers (which all the manufacturers specified as an average change in length for each degree C increase in temperature from 0 to 300°C) to show the variation and to challenge anyone to find Bullseye and Saint-Gobain or Glaverbel compatible with each other.  My experience has shown that the Optul coloured frit and confetti is more likely to be compatible with Pilkington than the other two.

Annealing

I have been beginning my annealing of float glass at 525°C.  This little bit of literature research shows that my annealing soak should be starting higher, possibly at 540°C, certainly no lower than 530°C.  Other areas of the world may find their float glass has significantly different annealing ranges.