Glass is a fully recyclable and sustainable material used in the fabrication of everything from tableware or windows for the automotive and the construction industries to more technical glass, such as flat screens for smartphones. Demand for glass is on the rise due to population and infrastructure growth. Glass is made in furnaces at very high temperatures with a process that requires constant improvement to meet the energy efficiency and environmental challenges posed by the manufacturing cycle.
The glass industry is under severe cost constraints and increasing environmental pressure to reduce emissions. Air Liquide provides glass manufacturers with solutions to improve their competitiveness and environmental footprint.
As long standing experts in oxy-combustion, which is the process of burning a fuel using pure oxygen instead of air as the primary oxidant, we have substantial R&D resources and a strong experience in glass making thanks to our extensive network of field experts.
Long standing experts in oxy-combustion
We master oxy-combustion technologies, for example in designing patented burners and modeling heating in furnaces.
We leverage on this know-how and put it to work for our customers through a personalized approach. Our technologies allow us to partner with glassmakers from the conception to the commissioning and the full operation of their furnaces.
Air Liquide markets comprehensive gas solutions customized to all subsectors of the industry, ranging from tableware and flat glass, to technical glass such as fiberglass or solar panels.
Standing alongside our customers from melting to forming end products
We provide solutions along all stages of the glass production process, from melting to forming end products. To complete our offer, we deliver a competitive oxygen supply adapted to the needs of our customers, particularly through energy-efficient on-site oxygen generation systems.
Before glass can even be formed, raw materials, mainly sand, and recycled glass must be melted at extremely high temperatures (1,400°C). To achieve the heat intensity required in the glass furnaces, Air Liquide steps in with oxy-combustion technologies that replace air with oxygen, thus improving the melting process, reducing air pollutant emissions and saving fuel. Our Nexelia™ all-in-one solutions allow for rapid alternation of melting temperatures, for operational flexibility and for automatic temperature control in a wide range of glass furnace sizes.
Before a finished product can be packaged and put on the market, defaults must be removed. Air Liquide supplies oxy-natural based gas and oxy-hydrogen based combustion technologies to polish the product surface and remove the defaults present in glass. This gives products, including fine items such as tableware, perfume bottles and crystal glasses, a pleasing, smooth and shiny appearance.
Air Liquide provides glass insulation solutions that involve injecting rare gases such as argon, xenon and krypton into multiple-glazed windows. Not only does this improve building acoustics, it also substantially increases energy efficiency, helping protect the environment