What Are The Different Types of Glass for Displays

Glass has been an essential material since ancient times. Its numerous applications, make it even more valuable in today’s world. This article will explore the different types of glass used in display technologies. Discuss the manufacturing processes, and highlight their advantages and disadvantages. There are too many types of glass. The best industrial glasses are Soda-lime Glass, Borosilicate Glass, Aluminosilicate Glass, Low-iron Glass, Anti-reflective (AR) Glass, and Tempered Glass.

  1. Soda-lime Glass

Soda-lime glass is the most common type of glass used in display applications. It is made by melting a mixture of soda ash, lime, and silica sand (silicon dioxide) at high temperatures. This glass has excellent clarity and is an affordable option for various applications. Such as television screens, computer monitors, and digital signage.

Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process of soda-lime glass consists of several stages. Including the preparation of raw materials, melting, refining, forming, and annealing.

  • Raw Material Preparation: Soda-lime glass is primarily composed of three primary ingredients. Same as silica sand (silicon dioxide), soda ash (sodium carbonate), and limestone (calcium carbonate). These raw materials are carefully weighed and mixed in precise proportions to achieve the desired properties.
  • Melting: The mixture of raw materials is then fed into a furnace. It is heated to temperatures ranging from 1500°C to 1700°C. This high temperature ensures that the raw materials melt and combine, forming a molten glass.
  • Refining: The molten glass goes through a refining process. Where impurities such as gas bubbles and unmelted raw materials are removed. The refining process also ensures a homogenous glass composition, which is crucial for the final product’s clarity and quality.
  • Forming: the molten glass is shaped into its desired form using various techniques, such as blowing, pressing, or rolling. The forming process depends on the end product being manufactured, such as flat glass for windows or containers for bottles.
  • Annealing: annealing lehr, cooled in a controlled environment after forming. This slow cooling process helps to relieve internal stresses in the glass, which could lead to breakage or distortion. After the annealing process is complete, the glass will further proceed. Such as cutting, polishing, or tempering, depending on the end product’s requirements.


Low costHigh clarityGood chemical durability


Less scratch-resistant compared to other glass types
Heavier due to its high density

2. Borosilicate Glass

Borosilicate glass is made by replacing some of the silica content with boron oxide. Which gives the glass excellent thermal stability, high chemical resistance, and low coefficients of thermal expansion. This type of glass is commonly used in applications that require high-temperature resistance and durability. Such as laboratory equipment and cookware.

However, it is also used in applications where high heat resistance and durability are required. Such as high-end projectors and outdoor digital signage. The production known for its exceptional resistance to temperature changes and chemical corrosion, involves a series of specific procedures.

Manufacturing Process

  • Raw Material Preparation: The primary constituents of borosilicate glass are silica sand, boric oxide, soda ash, and alumina. Compared to soda-lime glass, a higher proportion of boric oxide is used. These ingredients are carefully weighed and mixed to achieve the desired glass properties.
  • Melting: The mixture is then placed in a specialized glass furnace. Where it undergoes melting at temperatures reaching up to 1700°C. The high temperature ensures the fusion of all components into a homogenous molten glass.
  • Refining: The glass is then refined to eliminate bubbles and other inclusions that may affect its clarity and overall quality. The temperature is carefully controlled during this stage to ensure optimal refining.
  • Forming: The refined molten glass is then formed into its intended shape. This could be through various methods such as blowing, pressing, or drawing. Depending on the desired final product, whether it be laboratory glassware, cookware, or display screens.
  • Annealing: The last step is annealing, where the formed glass is gradually cooled under controlled conditions to eliminate internal stresses. This improves the strength and durability of the glass. After annealing, the borosilicate glass may undergo further processing such as cutting or polishing, as per the application’s needs.


High thermal stabilityHigh chemical resistanceLow coefficients of thermal expansion


More expensive than soda-lime glass
Slightly less clarity compared to soda-lime glass

3. Aluminosilicate Glass

This is a type of specialty glass. Which contains aluminum oxide in addition to the silica, soda, and lime found in soda-lime glass. This glass type is highly scratch-resistant, lightweight, and provides improved durability compared to soda-lime glass. Aluminosilicate glass is widely used in the electronics industry for high-end smartphones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices.

Manufacturing Process:

The production of it is renowned for its exceptional strength and resistance. Scratching and breakage involve a series of specialized steps.

  • Raw Material Preparation: The primary constituents of aluminosilicate glass are silica sand, alumina, and soda ash. The quantities of alumina and silica are typically higher compared to other types of glass, giving it its distinctive properties. These ingredients are carefully weighed and mixed to achieve the specific balance needed for aluminosilicate glass.
  • Melting: The prepared mixture is then subjected to high temperatures, reaching up to 1600°C in a specialized glass melting furnace. This ensures the fusion of the raw materials into a uniform, molten glass.
  • Refining: The molten glass undergoes a refining process. To remove air bubbles and other impurities. these may affect the overall quality and clarity of the final product. This process is maintained under strict temperature control to ensure optimal refining.
  • Forming: The refined, molten glass is then shaped into the desired form. The forming method, such as blowing or molding, is dependent on the end product. Whether it be high-strength windows, smartphone screens, or protective eyewear.
  • Annealing: Finally, the formed glass is slowly cooled in a regulated environment in a process known as annealing. This step helps to alleviate internal stresses, thereby enhancing the durability and strength of the glass. After the annealing stage, the aluminosilicate glass can undergo additional processing like cutting or polishing. Based on the specific application requirements.


High scratch resistanceLight-weightImproved durability compared to soda-lime glass


More expensive than soda-lime glass
Less clear than soda-lime glass due to its slightly higher refractive index

4. Low-iron Glass

Low-iron glass, also known as ultra-clear or Starphire glass. Is made by reducing the iron content in the raw materials used for manufacturing soda-lime glass. This results in a glass with higher light transmission. Making it ideal for applications where high clarity and color fidelity are required. Low-iron glass is commonly used in high-end retail displays, architectural applications, and display cases. Where its exceptional clarity and color fidelity enhance the aesthetics of the displayed items.

Manufacturing Process

Low-iron glass, recognized for its superior clarity and transparency. Is manufactured using a process similar to that of standard float glass. With a distinctive focus on material selection and quality control.

  • Raw Material Selection: The primary difference in the production of low-iron glass lies in the raw materials used. High-purity silica sand, with a significantly lower iron content, is used along with soda ash, limestone, and other additives. This selection of raw materials is critical to achieving the high transparency and neutral color of low-iron glass.
  • Melting: The raw materials are then mixed and melted in a furnace at temperatures exceeding 1500°C. The elevated temperatures ensure that the materials are fully fused into a homogenous molten glass, devoid of any iron-induced coloration.
  • Float Process: The molten glass is then delivered onto a bath of molten tin. Where it spreads out and forms a flat, smooth surface due to gravity and surface tension. This is known as the float process, which gives the glass its characteristic uniform thickness and flatness.
  • Annealing: The glass ribbon is produced from the float process. After that cooled gradually in a part of the production line called the lehr. This controlled cooling process, known as annealing, reduces internal stresses in the glass, enhancing its durability and workability.
  • Inspection and Cutting: After annealing, the glass undergoes thorough inspection for defects and adherence to quality standards. Following inspection, the glass is cut into desired sizes for further processing or shipment


High light transmissionExcellent clarity and color fidelitySuitable for high-end applications


More expensive than standard soda-lime glass
Less scratch-resistant than aluminosilicate glass

5. Anti-reflective (AR) Glass

Anti-reflective glass is a type of glass that has been treated or coated with a thin layer of material. With a low refractive index, it minimizes reflections and maximizes light transmission. This results in a display with reduced glare and improved readability. Making it ideal for outdoor applications, digital signage, and museum exhibits. Anti-reflective glass can be made from various base glass types, including soda-lime, borosilicate, and aluminosilicate glass.

Manufacturing Process

The production of anti-reflective (AR) glass, is designed to reduce glare and reflection. Entails a combination of traditional glass manufacturing and specialized coating techniques.

  • Glass Manufacturing: The first step is to produce the base glass. Which can be soda-lime, borosilicate, or aluminosilicate glass, depending on the desired properties and applications. The raw materials are prepared, melted, refined, formed, and annealed according to the specific glass type’s manufacturing process.
  • Cleaning: Before the application of the anti-reflective coating. It is essential to ensure that the glass surface is free of contaminants, dust, and debris. The glass undergoes a stringent cleaning procedure involving ultrasonic baths, detergent solutions, or other specialized cleaning agents.
  • Coating Preparation: The anti-reflective coating typically consists of multiple layers of thin films. Primarily made of metal oxides such as silicon dioxide or titanium dioxide. These materials are carefully prepared, ensuring that they meet the required specifications for optimal performance.
  • Coating Application: The prepared coating materials are then applied to the glass surface. Using techniques such as vacuum deposition, sputtering, or sol-gel. These processes are carried out under controlled conditions to ensure a uniform and high-quality coating. The layer thickness is carefully tailored to minimize the reflection of light and optimize the glass’s transparency.
  • Inspection and Quality Control: Once the coating process is complete. Each piece undergoes thorough inspection and quality control checks, to ensure that it meets performance and durability standards. The glass may also be subjected to environmental and stress testing to validate its performance under various conditions.


Reduced glare and improved readabilityHigh light transmissionCan applied to various glass types


More expensive than untreated glass
Requires precise manufacturing processes for optimum performance

6. Tempered Glass

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass. Is a type of safety glass that has undergone a special heat treatment process to increase its strength and durability. This process makes tempered glass more resistant to breakage. Even in the event of breakage, it shatters into small, blunt-edged fragments, reducing the risk of injury. Due to these characteristics, tempered glass has become an essential material for various applications. Glass showcase, glass display cabinet, full vision showcase, and other store fixtures.

Tempered glass is a versatile and robust material that offers significant safety and durability advantages over regular glass. Its enhanced strength, thermal resistance, and scratch resistance make it ideal for various applications. Including display screens and other devices that require added protection. However, it is essential to consider its cost and potential optical distortion when selecting tempered glass for specific applications.

Manufacturing Process

  • The process of manufacturing tempered glass involves heating the glass to a temperature of approximately 620°C in a tempering furnace. This is followed by rapid cooling using high-pressure air nozzles. Which creates a state of compression on the glass surface and tension in the core. This process alters the physical properties of the glass. Resulting in a product that is up to five times stronger than regular annealed glass.


  • Safety: One of the primary benefits of tempered glass is its enhanced safety features. In the event of breakage, the glass shatters into small, relatively harmless fragments, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Strength: The tempering process significantly increases the strength of the glass. Making it more resistant to breakage from impact, pressure, or temperature fluctuations.
  • Thermal Resistance: Tempered glass can handle higher temperatures than regular glass. Making it suitable for applications near heat sources or in environments with extreme temperature variations.
  • Scratch Resistance: Due to its increased strength, tempered glass is more resistant to scratches and abrasions compared to regular glass.


  • Cost: The process of tempering glass is more expensive than producing regular glass, making tempered glass products relatively more expensive.
  • Irreversibility: It cannot be reverted to its original state or undergo further cutting, drilling, or edge finishing After tempered.
  • Optical Distortion: Although tempered glass offers excellent clarity, it may exhibit slight optical distortion. Due to the tempering process, which could affect visual quality in certain applications.

In conclusion, there are several types of glass used in display applications, each with its unique properties and advantages. Soda-lime glass is the most common and affordable option, while borosilicate and aluminosilicate glass offer improved durability and scratch resistance. Low-iron glass provides exceptional clarity and color fidelity, while anti-reflective glass reduces glare and improves readability.

Understanding the properties and applications of these various glass types. It can help in selecting the right glass material for a given display application. Ultimately enhancing visual aesthetics and user experiences. 

Tempered glass is the most welcomed in-store fixture and also in the total glass types. All our retail store fixtures are made of tempered glass. For instance, glass showcases, frameless glass display cases, glass cash counters, and aluminum glass showcases. You’re welcome to contact us for more info.

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