It’s easy to take glass for granted. We use it and rely on it every day, as it’s in the making of a large number of items and appliances we use daily. Often, we don’t give glass a great deal of consideration. There isn’t even just one kind of glass. There are a wide variety produced that have unique properties and qualities for various different purposes. Here are some of the most common types of glass:

Commercial Glass

This is the most ordinary kind of glass that we see every day, from bottles and drinking glasses to our windows at home and work. The main ingredient of almost all commercial glass is sand. This glass is usually colourless, so it transmits a lot of light, which is why it is used mainly for window manufacture. If this makes you think it’s time you had your own windows replaced, then visit a site like for Glass suppliers and glaziers Bristol.

Image credit

To get different coloured glass, additional chemicals need to be added into the manufacturing process. Other glass colours that can be made include brown, green and blue. Weighing raw materials, mixing and consistency are all important in the process of making glass.

Much of the new glass produced comes from recycled glass bottles brought to a recycling bank or collected at the roadside. Recycled glass is called ‘cullet’ and its use has many environmental benefits such as less excavation and it also has a low melting point which saves energy and reduces emissions.

Borosilicate glass

Most of us would be familiar with the trade name of Pyrex. Yes, borosilicate glass is heat resistant ovenware which is a regular feature of our kitchens. The glass is mostly composed of silica and boric oxide with a small amount of alkalis and aluminium oxide. This chemical composition makes it extremely durable with a great thermal shock resistance.

It’s used a lot in the chemical industry for laboratory equipment for its ability to remain strong even in a rapid temperature change. It can also be found in lighting fixtures and as fibreglass for textiles, plastics and cookware.


This type of glass does not really look like the kind of glass we know from our windows, for example. It is used in many ways including medical equipment and insulation in our roofs. How it is produced, and its composition will depend on the intended use. Glass wool for home insulation is usually made of soda lime.

Image credit

Fibre glass is also used in the textile industry because of its durability and high melting point. This type of glass is also used in items such everyday bicycle helmets, pipes, ropes and fibre glass boats for example. It is also used in the manufacture of car exhaust and chassis.

Recent technological advances now used in the manufacture of optical fibres and for medical purposes, such as endoscopy for internal imaging. high speed internet, mobile phone technology and even signs of motorway light displays changing messages, are all made using advanced glass types.