Flint glass

Flint glass

Flint glass is optical glass that has relatively high refractive index and low Abbe number. Flint glasses are arbitrarily defined as having an Abbe number of 50 to 55 or less. The currently known flint glasses have refractive indices ranging between 1.45 and 2.00. A concave lens of flint glass is commonly combined with a convex lens of crown glass to produce an achromatic doublet lens because of their compensating optical properties.

With respect to glass, the term "flint" derives from the flint nodules found in the chalk deposits of southeast England that were used as a source of high purity silica by George Ravenscroft, circa 1662, to produce a potash lead glass that was the predecessor to English lead crystal.

Traditionally, flint glasses were lead glasses containing around 4%–60% lead oxide; however, the manufacture and disposal of these glasses are sources of pollution. In many modern flint glasses, the lead can be replaced with other additives such as titanium dioxide and zirconium dioxide without significantly altering the optical properties of the glass.

Flint glass can be fashioned into rhinestones which are used as diamond simulants.

See also

References

  • Kurkjian, Charles R. and Prindle, William R. (1998). Perspectives on the History of Glass Composition. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 81 (4), 795-813.

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