Aluminium, plastic and glass are the main materials used or processed in our products. At this point we would like to give some brief information about the manufacture of the materials for those who might find it interesting.
Aluminium is a metal with many advantageous properties and is used in almost all areas of technology and daily life. Aluminium is mainly characterised by its low weight and high resistance to corrosion. But its good processing properties also make aluminium a preferred material.
The most important mineral for the recovery of aluminium is bauxite, which gets its name from the first place it was found, Les Beaux, in the South of France. Bauxite is produced by the efflorescence of lime and silicate rock as a result of climatic influences. The known bauxite deposits will last for several hundreds of years.
Oxide of aluminium is extracted from bauxite in several technically difficult stages. From this the raw material aluminium is separated by electrolysis in the dry way.
Aluminium is not waste, but a valuable material that can be completely recycled over and over again.
The oldest finds of glass go back as far as the end of the Neolithic Period, approx. 7000 B.C. And yet nobody today knows exactly when glass was produced for the first time.
The most important materials for the manufacture of glass are silica sand, lime and soda, all natural raw materials that are available in adequate quantities.
The particular feature of glass is that although it is a material with a firm structure it is a liquid. So with glass we also talk of an over-cooled melting.
At the beginning of the 50s the English company Pilkington Brothers found the solution - the Float glass production process. Not discouraged by setbacks, it was developed energetically with high capital investment until production maturity in 1958.
The manufacturing process is divided into
- Melting the glass mixture followed by refining
- Shaping the glass
- Cooling the glass
The raw materials - essentially silica sand, lime and soda - go into the melting furnace as a mixture. The liquid glass flows out of the refining bath through the overflow channel to the tin bath; at this point the system has a temperature of roughly 1,100ºC. In the Float process an endless band of glass moves from the melting tub to the tin bath. There it floats on the surface of the melted metal, spreads out, and is kept at a high enough temperature for a sufficiently long time.
A critical point in the Float process is when it comes out of the bath. Here the glass band goes from the surface of the tin bath onto the rollers of the cooling channel.
A precisely defined temperature - roughly 600ºC - must be adhered to, as the glass band must have the necessary mechanical strength for drawing off.
In the cooling channel and on the subsequent transport path the glass cools down to room temperature.
Crude oil is the most important raw material for the production of plastic together with natural gas.
Crude oil is separated into several components by distillation in the refinery. The starting materials for the plastics with different properties are then recovered in various chemical processes. It is important that the world-wide plastic industry only needs about 4% of the crude oil products coming out of the refinery. The majority of the plastic is used in the long and medium term. The plastic used in our products can be completely recycled again.