Soda-lime glass

The material. Soda-lime glass is the glass of windows, bottles, and light bulbs, used in vast quantities, the commonest of them all. The name sug­gests its composition: 13-17% NaO (the "soda"), 5-10% CaO (the "lime") and 70-75% SiO2 (the "glass"). It has a low melting point, is easy to blow and mold, and it is cheap. It is optically clear unless impure, when it is typ­ically green or brown. Windows today have to be flat and until 1950 that was not easy to do; now the float-glass process, solidifying glass on a bed of liquid tin, makes "plate" glass cheaply and quickly.


73% SiO2/1% Al2O3/17% Na2O/4% MgO/5% CaO

General properties



Mechanical properties

Young’s modulus

Yield strength (elastic limit)

Tensile strength



Fatigue strength at 107 cycles

Fracture toughness

Thermal properties

Maximum service temperature Thermal conductor or insulator? Thermal conductivity Specific heat capacity Thermal expansion coefficient

Electrical properties

Electrical conductor or insulator? Electrical resistivity Dielectric constant Dissipation factor Dielectric strength

Glass is used in both practical and decorative ways.

Eco properties: material

Annual world production Reserves

Embodied energy, primary production CO2 footprint, primary production Water usage Eco-indicator

Eco properties: processing

Glass molding energy Glass molding CO2


Embodied energy, recycling CO2 footprint, recycling Recycle fraction in current supply

Typical uses. Windows, bottles, containers, tubing, lamp bulbs, lenses and mirrors, bells, glazes on pottery and tiles.

Updated: October 12, 2015 — 6:18 am