The float glass process is the most common method of flat glass production in the world. This process basically involves melting silicate (sand), lime and soda in a furnace and floating it onto a large bed of molten tin, hence the name float glass.
The process, which originally allowed to produce only 6 mm thick glass, now reaches thicknesses ranging from 0.4 mm to 25 mm. The transition from the melting basin to the tin bath takes place in a controlled atmosphere. The glass floats on the tin spreads and forms a uniform plate.
From this point, the glass emerges in one continuous ribbon and is then cut and further processed to customers’ needs. The different thicknesses are obtained by varying the extraction speed of the glass from the tin bath.
After annealing (controlled cooling), a perfectly transparent finished glass with parallel surfaces is obtained. Float glass is also known as soda-lime silicate glass as these are the major components used in manufacture.