Glass manufacturing processesThere are two main methods of producing glass. The first is the float glass process that is used to manufacture architectural glass, and the second is the glassblowing process that produces containers such as bottles and jars. The float glass process, also known as the Pilkington process, was developed by Sir Pilkington in 1952, and involves feeding a ribbon of molten glass from a furnace onto a bath of molten tin. This process produces a sheet of glass with a uniform thickness and a very smooth surface, which can be used to make windows and any other applications requiring flat sheets of glass. China is by far the largest producer of float glass, accounting for more than half of the global production volume from this method in 2019.
The glassblowing technique was first used around the first century BCE, and deals with the inflation of molten glass into a bubble by using a blowpipe. Throughout time, this process was further developed into two main techniques: mold blowing and free blowing. In 2020 the production volume of glass bottles and containers amounted to nearly 690 billion units worldwide.