Due to its durability and extreme clarity, clear float glass is a common type of glass for windows and glass containers, especially in the food and beverage industry. The most popular form of clear float glass is soda lime glass, which gets its name from its greenish tinge. This type of glass makes up about 90% of all manufactured glass. Clear float glass is also a preferred recycled material because it can be remelted and softened repeatedly without losing integrity.
Learn more about the properties, applications, and types of clear float glass that make it such a versatile material.
Properties of Clear Float Glass
Float glass gets its name from the process required to manufacture it. Raw materials—such as silica sand, soda, lime, potash, and recycled glass—are melted together in a furnace. The molten glass composition is poured into a chamber of molten tin. Since glass is lighter than tin, it floats to the top, forming an even layer on the surface. The glass then undergoes a cooling process whereby it stabilizes and hardens.
Key properties of clear float glass include:
- High degree of light transmission: The most notable advantage of float glass is its smooth, clear surface, free of streaks or bubbles. Its light transmission rate is usually around 85-90%.
- Chemical inertness: Clear float glass is chemically nonreactive and impermeable, so it is well suited for applications involving contact with other substances like food and drinks.
- Recyclable: Clear float glass can be recycled many times, so it is environmentally friendly.
- Durability: It can be chemically tempered to achieve greater hardness and scratch resistance.
What Are Clear Float Glass Applications?
Clear float glass is a versatile material. It can accommodate a myriad of thicknesses, sizes, and colors. Additional processing—like laminating, silk-screen printing, insulating, glazing, sandblasting, and acid-etching—can enhance the mechanical properties of the glass for various applications. These include:
- Car windows
- Solar applications
Types of Clear Float Glass at Swift Glass
Swift Glass offers a number of clear float glasses we can tailor to your needs.
This is a clear and distortion-free glass that we can produce in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses depending on the application. Guardian Clear Float Glass is produced with the most advanced glassmaking technology.
Vitro Clear Float Glass is an excellent option for versatile, reliable, and aesthetic applications. This was previously a PPG Industries product, and now we fabricate it for a variety of uses across industries.
Vitro Solargray® Glass is a staple for commercial buildings due to its medium-gray appearance and ability to regulate solar glare and heat gain. One-inch thick Solargray® Glass has a light transmittance rate of 40%. Like Vitro Clear Float Glass, this was previously a PPG Industries product.
This is a popular product for applications requiring extra-thick soda lime glass, up to 1.25 inches. It can also be tempered for added durability.
High-Quality Clear Float Glass from Swift Glass
For almost a century, Swift Glass has been producing reliable custom glass for original equipment manufacturers. We are a global leader in curating custom glassworking solutions for our customers, including CNC machining, thermal tempering, chemical strengthening, polishing, drilling, and more. Our facility is ISO 9001:2015 certified and ITAR registered. Contact us to find out how we can provide a solution for your project.