EPiC database - Flat glass

This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Flat glass, also known as soda-lime glass, is made from a combination of silica, soda, lime (from limestone), dolomite and aluminium oxide. Cullet, or waste glass, can also be added. The raw materials are melted at high temperature and the molten glass is then formed into flat glass using a variety of processes. A floating process, where the molten glass is floated on a bed of tin, is most common for manufacturing window glass. This gives it the common name of float glass.

The speed at which glass flows across the tin bath determines the glass thickness, which typically ranges from 2 to 25 mm. The glass is then gradually cooled (annealed) and cut to size. It can also be coated with a range of materials to provide particular characteristics (such as thermal, reflective, privacy).

Flat glass is commonly used in buildings to provide daylight and views. It is used for windows, glass doors and transparent walls.