An article about the critical role of industrial gases in float glass production appeared in the December 2015 issue of the Gasworld magazine. Float glass, used for glazing in buildings, accounts for one of the biggest single usages of glass in the modern world.
Playing key roles in the high-tech production of float glass are nitrogen and hydrogen along with an array of specialty gases with a very high grade of purity (SO2, argon, krypton, hydrogen fluoride,..). Float glass production process comprises a series of steps such are heating up to 1,500´C, refining, homogenising, melting, cooling and finally cutting.
In the melting furnace, the right balance of the natural gas and oxygen is crucial for an optimal combustion process in a burner. Several control processes are used to achieve the exact level of oxygen and gas levels. These processes incorporate various analytical methods i.e. gas chromatography (GC), flame ionization detector (FID) or thermal conductivity detector (TCD).