Q:

What minerals are used to make glass?

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Quick Answer

Common minerals that are used in glass production include antimony, feldspar, lead, lithium, quartz, silica, sodium carbonate, tantalum, calcite, gypsum, muscovite mica and orthoclase. The principal ingredient of glass is sand, which is primarily composed of quartz or silica.

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Full Answer

Glass is an amorphous, brittle substance that is similar to a "frozen liquid." It is characterized by an absence of long-range order, a substantial number of vacant sites and the lack of atomic planes.

Glass is generally made from liquefied sand that is allowed to cool rapidly. Lime and soda are often mixed with the sand to change the internal structure of the glass. Other compounds such as aluminum oxide, magnesium oxide, boron oxide and lead oxide are also used as additives, which directly influence the properties and the type of glass formed.

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