Making glass

Description

A sample of glass is made by heating a mixture of lead oxide, zinc oxide and boric acid strongly until it melts. The glass formed can be coloured by adding traces of various transition metal oxides.

making-glass



Apparatus Chemicals

Each working group will require:

Eye protection

Access to top-pan balance (±0.1 g) (Note 1)

Boiling tube (150 x 25 mm), Pyrex or similar

Rubber bung, to fit boiling tube

Spatula

Crucible, low (squat) form, approx 15 - 20 cm3 capacity, with lid (Note 2)

Clay pipe triangle (Note 2)

Crucible tongs

Bunsen burner

Tripod

Heat resistant mat

Plastic weighing boats

Paper clips, large enough to form a long stirrer wire when straightened

Boric acid (boracic acid) about 5 g

Lead(II) oxide (TOXIC, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), about 8 g

Zinc oxide (DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), about 1 g

Chromium(III) oxide, trace

Cobalt(II) oxide (HARMFUL), trace

Copper(II) oxide (HARMFUL, DANGEROUS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT), trace

Manganese(IV) oxide (HARMFUL), trace

Refer to Health & Safety and Technical notes section below for additional information.

 

Read our standard health & safety guidance





British Glass- a very informative introduction to the composition and manufacture of different glasses for different uses, together with a brief history of glass-making.


Page last updated October 2015

A sample of glass is made by heating a mixture of lead oxide, zinc oxide and boric acid strongly until it melts. The glass formed can be coloured by adding traces of various transition metal oxides.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

This is a resource from the Practical Chemistry project, developed by the Nuffield Foundation and the Royal Society of Chemistry. This collection of over 200 practical activities demonstrates a wide range of chemical concepts and processes. Each activity contains comprehensive information for teachers and technicians, including full technical notes and step-by-step procedures. Practical Chemistry activities accompany Practical Physics and Practical Biology.

The experiment is also part of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Continuing Professional Development course: Chemistry for non-specialists