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Learn About Glass

Forming Process

Viscosity

Viscosity, a measure of liquid fluidity, varies inversely with temperature. As the temperature decreases, viscosity increases. As glass cools, it gets "stiffer" or more viscous.

 

Gob Formation and Shapes

A gob is a specific amount of molten glass, which is eventually formed into a glass container.The shape of the gob is important because it affects the way it enters into the Individual Section Machine. There is an optimum gob shape for each glass container produced.

 

Feeder and Delivery Molten glass flows with the help of gravity from the refiner through the forehearth. 

From there it is carefully cooled to a uniform temperature and viscosity prior to reaching the feeder. Using the pull of gravity, the hot glass flows through the orifice at the bottom of the feeder. Glass flow is controlled by the height of a ceramic tube in the feeder; a raised tube creates a heavy flow while a lowered tube results in a reduced flow. The glass flow undergoes a “mixing action” created by the rotation of the ceramic tube. This helps to make the temperature consistent while the downward motion of the plunger accelerates the glass flow.

This pumping action is timed with the shearing of the glass flow as it falls beneath the feeder to shape the falling gobs. After the gob has been sheared from the feeder it falls into a series of chutes where it is delivered to the blank mold on the I.S. machine.

The I.S. Machine The I.S. Machine or "Individual Section II Machine" is designed to ensure efficient production so that operators can take one or more sections out of production for repairs without shutting down production in other sections. Gobs enter the I.S. Machine and are formed into containers through a process of controlled shaping and cooling of the glass. The total time need to produce a container varies, but beer and soda bottles take approximately 10 seconds. Depending on the container’s size and shape, the machine’s production speed may be as fast as 700 containers per minute.

Parison

A parison is a hollow and partially formed container that will be blown up like a balloon in the blow mold to form a bottle. It has a cooler skin or enamel outer surface and a temperature of 1700 degrees F on its outer skin.

Parisons are formed on the blank side of an I.S. Machine from gobs and greatly differ in shape for each type of container design.

Container Formation Manufacturers use three different types of forming processes to make glass containers, depending on the type of container to be produced: Blow and Blow: Compressed air blows a cavity into the molten gob in the blank mold of the forming machine thereby creating a preform shape known as a parison. From there the parison is transferred to the blow mold where compressed air is used to blow the bottle into its final shape.

Wide Mouth Press and Blow

A metal plunger is used to press the cavity into the gob to create the parison in the blank mold. The parison is then inverted and compressed air blows the container into its final shape. This process is used to manufacture containers with wide finish diameters (38mm and larger).

 

Narrow Neck Press and Blow

This process is similar to the wide mouth press and blow except the metal plunger in the blank mold is much smaller in diameter. This process is used to manufacture containers with narrow finish diameters (38mm and smaller). The introduction of this process has enabled glass manufacturers to increase overall productivity and reduce weight and variations in the thickness distribution of beer and beverage bottles.

How Glass is Made »

Glass is made from all-natural sustainable raw materials. It is the preferred packaging for consumers’ concerned about their health and the environment.

Recycling »

Glass is infinitely recyclable, made from all natural ingredients, and has a 400 year record of safety. Learn more about how recycling works.

Advocacy »

Glass container manufacturers speak with one voice to advocate industry standards, promote sound policies and educate packaging professionals.

 

Glass Facts »

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