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Can the containers and pouches of silica gel in pill bottles, new bags and the like, be used to make glass? Answered

What physical setup would be required if this is possible? Please advise, and thank you in advance.

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RavingMadStudios
RavingMadStudios

Best Answer 10 years ago

At minimum, you would need a crucible furnace, crucibles, molds, glass separator and an annealing kiln, plus the soda ash and lime that cyberpageman mentioned. That's just to turn the silica gel beads into pieces of glass to be worked somehow.
The rest would depend on what you wanted to do with the glass. Lampworking would require a torch, mandrels, marvers and various other tools; offhand glassblowing would require blowpipes and punties, a gloryhole furnace, various blocks, paddles, shears and molds; Casting, fusing or slumping would need mostly some additional molds and kiln furniture, assuming that your annealing kiln can also be used for slumping and fusing.
It's an interesting idea. Next time I heat the kiln up, I may try fusing some silica gel, just for fun.

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cyberpageman
cyberpageman

10 years ago

 Silica gel, Na2SiO3Yes, could be used to make glass, but it would be difficult because the melting temperature is 1610C (2930F) (I looked it up) which is only a little below the hottest part of the flame of a propane torch.

Mixing and grinding the silica gel with soda ash and lime reduces its melting temperature to about 2700F.  The reference below tells how to make glass:

http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Household_Cyclopedia_of_General_Information/howtomak_cge.html

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Sandisk1duo
Sandisk1duo

Answer 10 years ago

(double post)

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cyberpageman
cyberpageman

Answer 10 years ago

 Yeah, I know, and I can't get rid of one.  It's too long for the page, so the "delete" button is obscured.  I'm using the Google Chrome browser, so opened it in IE, and it's the same problem.

Really sorry. 

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von rad
von rad

Answer 10 years ago

CPM:  Your answer was fast and great.  This was my first question.  I waited until the 40+ viewers had a chance to digest it.  Although I selected RMS as the best answer, due to the incredible detail.  Your fast response and research was worthy of a tie.  Little consolation I know, but Thanks. 

VR

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Sandisk1duo
Sandisk1duo

Answer 10 years ago

post in forums: bugs

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cyberpageman
cyberpageman

10 years ago

 Silica gel, Na2SiO3, could be used to make glass, but it would be difficult because the melting temperature is 1610C (2930F) (I looked it up) which is only a little below the hottest part of the flame of a propane torch.

Mixing and grinding the silica gel with soda ash and lime reduces its melting temperature to about 2700F.  The reference below tells how to make glass:

http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_htm/The_Household_Cyclopedia_of_General_Information/howtomak_cge.html