June 11, 2018

What is the difference between clear glass and low iron glass?

The major difference between clear glass and low iron glass is that low iron is more transparent making it better for color matching.

Some may think that all glass is made the same. Yes, glass can come in different shades and shapes, but what most people don’t know is that the actual composition can be altered.

Different products call for different types of glass. Two common kinds of glass are low iron and clear. Their properties are different because their ingredients aren’t the same. One may be better suited than the other for certain design projects. This is when it is vital to seek out an expert in the glass industry.

Regular Clear Glass

While “clear” is in the name, clear glass is actually not the clearest type of glass you can get.

While regular clear glass does not have substantially high iron content, it is higher than low iron glass. Due to this higher iron content, clear glass has a greenish tint to it. This quality can cause issues.

If you’re looking to have a glass back painted or coated a specific shade of yellow, for example, your glass fabricator won’t want to use regular clear glass because it will be harder to match the color. For this reason, glass fabricators will typically recommend low iron glass instead.

Low Iron Glass

Float glass manufacturers create low iron glass by reducing the amount of iron in the molten glass formula. This type is more transparent than regular glass, and it doesn’t have that greenish tint. Making modifications to the iron content can increase the light transparency by 5 to 6 percent.

With a clearer canvas to start with, back-painting or coating go much smoother, making the finished product the exact shade you desire. Architects and designers prefer that glass fabricators use low iron glass when color matching.

Since the edge-work of low iron glass is clearer and less green than it is with clear glass makes it the choice for color matching. A low iron glass is beautiful for use in display cases and shelves in retail stores as well as homes with built-in glass display shelving.