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1916-2016

Notes on the Formation of Certain Rock Forming Minerals in and about Glass Furnaces

Notes on the Formation of Certain Rock Forming Minerals in and about Glass Furnaces

T177-T216 (44 pages including 4 of plates)

In the course of my recent work in connection with the resources of sands suitable for glass making in Scotland, I have had the opportunity of visiting several glass-works, and through. the kindness of the various managers have been enabled to obtain a great deal of material of special interest to the petrologist, both in relation to minerals which have formed by direct crystallisation from a molten mass, and to those, that owe their origin to what may best be described as contact alteration. The bulk of the material was obtained from the Kinghorn Bottle Works in Fife. The tank furnaces in use there are built over a series of archways, and consequently are at a considerable height from the ground. Recently one, of these furnaces burst, owing to the continued solvent action of the molten glass on the brickwork forming the floor of the tank. At the time of the accident the furnace contained about 70 tons of metal, and it was completely drained. The result of this large mass of molten metal flowing into the partially enclosed space below was that in some places it rose to a height of six feet and took five days before it was cool enough to break up and remove. In this process of slow cooling several types of crystalline material were formed, and a considerable number of minerals developed, both in the main mass and also in the thin strings which had been formed by the penetration of the glass into the joints between the bricks of the, building, and even into the cracks caused in the bricks themselves by their sudden heating and consequent expansion. This injection seems to have taken place more than once as instances occur where angular fragments of brick and early crystallised glass were found embedded in a matrix of glass which was only partially crystalline, thus showing that sufficient time elapsed between the two injections to allow the material of the first to begin to' crystallise, and to become sufficiently hard to break up into angular fragments.

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