A strong, transparent sheet of glass that has very few, if any, distortions. Plate glass is typically composed of white sand, sodium carbonate, limestone, alumina, manganese dioxide, and cullet. It was mass produced by the Chance process introduced in the 1830s. The liquid glass was cast onto an iron table, then rolling it to a desired thickness. The large sheets were then ground and polished to produce a smooth, flat sheet. In 1959, the float glass process was introduced that produced a continuous sheet of glass floating on a bed of molten tin. This eliminated the need for grinding and polishing and by 1993, 90% of the world's glass was made by the float process. Because plate glass is stronger than pressed glass and does not have the distortions, it is used for mirrors, large windows, and building facades.
Synonyms and Related Terms
window glass; sheet glass; polished plate; plate-glass; verre plat (Fr.); chapa de vidro (Port.); cast glass; rolled glass; Herculite [PPG]; Solvex; Thermoplane; Tuf-Flex; Twindow
Plate glass is resistant to most acids, except hydrofluoric and phosphoric acids. Exposure to alkaline solution can damage glass.
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- G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 616