Glass Fusion Steel Tanks
Fused glass is glass that has been fired (heat-processed) in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 593 °C (1,099 °F) to 816 °C (1,501 °F). There are 3 main distinctions for temperature application and the resulting effect on the glass.
Firing in the lower ranges of these temperatures 593–677 °C (1,099–1,251 °F) is called slumping. Firing in the middle ranges of these temperatures 677–732 °C (1,251–1,350 °F) is considered “tack fusing”. Firing the glass at the higher part of this range 732–816 °C (1,350–1,501 °F) is commonly described as a “full fuse”.
All of these techniques can be applied to one glass work in separate firings to add depth, relief and shape.
Disparate pieces of glass must be compatible in order to ensure they can be fused properly. It is a common misconception that glasses having the same coefficient of expansion (COE) will be compatible. Coefficient of expansion is one indicator that glasses may be compatible, but there are many other factors that determine whether glasses are compatible. If incompatible glasses are fused together, it is unlikely that the fused piece will be able maintain structural integrity. The piece may shatter during the cooling process, or develop stress originating from the point of contact between the incompatible glasses over time, leading to fractures within the glass, and eventually breakage.
Generally, kiln-glass manufacturers will rate their glasses for compatibility with other glasses they make. In order to be certain that the glasses they use will be compatible, many glass fusers will adopt one manufacturer’s glasses to use exclusively.
The stress in two pieces of incompatible glass that were fused can be observed by placing the item between two polarizing filters. This will show areas of tension which will develop stress and fracture over time.
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