La Glass Vallée

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Home | Know-how | Glassmakers | Glass, an outstanding material...

Glass, an outstanding material...

 It is composed of a vitrifying element - silica - mixed with "melting" agents (soda carbonate and sulfate) and stabilizers (calcareous or carbonate lime). It is obtained at a melting point of 1500°C. The choice and the proportion of "melting" agents bring to the molten glass bed the properties that give glass its notoriety, particularly within the designer perfume industry. Moreover, they confer a highly appreciated plasticity to the material that allows designers to be as audacious as their imagination will let them. They also provide for internal pressure resistance characteristics useful in the manufacturing of sprays with relatively complex shapes. Some technical specifications of what is known as neutral glass are particularly useful in the packaging of very fragile pharmaceutical items (antibiotics, plasma, etc…). In modern glassworks, all these operations are carried out automatically and monitored by highly complex electronic control installations.

There are still three main categories of raw material conversion :

  • Traditional manufacturing with raw material fusion in crucibles or pot furnaces
  • Semi-automatic manufacturing with fusion on pot furnaces
  • Automatic manufacturing with fusion on tank furnaces, operating 24 hours a day.

Traditional and semi-automatic manufacturing are cyclical operations (i.e. discontinuous).

With 1 billion and half bottles produced each year, French glassmakers have become the largest exporters of bottles in the world, especially for top-of-the-range articles where they command 75% of the market.

They also played a significant indirect role in the distribution of spirits and alcoholic beverages, thereby also positively contributing to France's public image.