Plate glass is formed into large, thin sheets using a rolling technique. As it is extremely flat and has few impurities, plate glass is ideal for use in windows and other glass fixtures and furniture which are flat in design. There are a number of different types of plate glass available.
Processing Plate Glass
Liquid glass which is extremely hot is poured onto a large metal table. As the liquid glass starts to cool down, giant rollers spin over the glass creating a completely flat, polished and flawless sheet of glass. The glass may require additional polishing depending on what kind of product is being made with the plate glass. In some cases, plate glass is made using a floating process where the liquid glass cools and sets whilst floating in a molten tin.
Disadvantages of Plate Glass
Manufacturing plate glass is a long, complicated and costly procedure and consequently, products made with plate glass usually cost a lot of money. When a window, mirror or other item made with this high quality type of glass breaks, it can be expensive to repair. Plate glass is also a very brittle type of glass and is therefore hazardous if it smashes. Exercise caution when deciding where to put items made of plate glass around the home. Furniture consisting of plate glass such as mirrors and tables should be put out of reach from children.
Plate Glass Products Available
There are many products made from plate glass available for purchase. Standard and custom plate glass products include mirrors, windows, glass doors, shower doors, glass partitions and walls. This type of glass can also be fabricated into other smaller products such as clocks, glass dinnerware, fruit dishes and paper weights. Plate glass does not have to be used solely in the installation of new constructions as it can also be used to replace broken glass.
Points to Consider
Determine how thick you want the plate glass to be. Remember thicker glass makes an object more durable so consider this if the structure or object is going to be outside where it will be more prone to becoming broken. You will also need to consider building standards and codes if plate glass is going to make up a structure or some kind of building project. Different structures legally require plate glass to be of a certain thickness. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules and purchase the glass accordingly. As plate glass can be expensive, plan prior to purchasing and decide on a budget.
Where is Plate Glass Available?
Finding a place to purchase this type of glass is not usually a problem as most glass making companies have plate glass available in their product range. Larger hardware stores and glass specialists usually have plate glass in stock or it can be ordered for a specific use. There are literally thousands of registered importers and exporters of plate glass in the US alone. There are also a numerous amount of glass outlets on the Internet which specialize in plate glass. These companies also offer a repair and replacement service where plate glass can be ordered and cut to a specific shape and size.