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5 Key Benefits of Fused Silica & Quartz

Fused silica and quartz are two commonly employed materials in glass fabrication operations. Both substances offer unique properties that make them suitable for use in fabricated glass components. The following blog post provides an overview of the two, including their composition, key benefits, and typical applications. 

Benefits of Fused Silica Glass

fused-silicaFused silica is a non-crystalline synthetic material comprised of silicon gas or silica sand. Since it is synthetically processed, it is the purest form of glass on the market, both structurally and physically. Its cross-linked three-dimensional structure results in exceptional thermal resistance and near-zero thermal expansion.

Some of the key benefits of using this glass material include:

  1. High chemical purity and resistance
  2. High softening point and strong thermal resistance
  3. Low thermal expansion and high thermal shock resistance
  4. High transparency from ultraviolet to infrared spectral range
  5. High radiation resistance

Benefits of Quartz Glass

Quartz is a naturally occurring crystalline mineral comprised of oxygen and silicon. It is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet and forms in most rock types in the Earth’s crust. When converted into glass, it’s found in applications in many scientific research and other high-tech operations. 

Some of the key benefits of using this glass material include: 

  1. Good transmission behavior in the ultraviolet range
  2. High-temperature endurance in the visible and infrared range
  3. Low coefficient of thermal expansion and high thermal shock resistance
  4. Exceptional electrical insulation and high chemical purity
  5. Suitability for permanent operation at 1100° C or short-term operation at 1300° C

Applications of Fused Silica and Quartz Glass

Both fused silica and quartz glass are ideal for use in many different industrial applications, including the following:

  • Chemical and pharmaceutical processes. Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing operations experience a wide range of conditions, including exposure to high temperatures, corrosive chemicals, and water. Parts and components made from fused silica and quartz are ideal for use in these environments as they are chemically pure, chemical resistant, non-hygroscopic, and thermal shock resistant.
  • Electronics and electro-technology. Electronics and electronic technology rely on both conductive and insulating components. For the latter, fused silica and quartz are ideal as a construction material as they offer low conductivity, high penetration field strength, and low electric loss factor. 
  • High-temperature operations. The thermal properties of both materials allow them to withstand high processing temperatures without risk of damage or degradation. 
  • Light and laser technology. Many light-based systems (e.g., lasers) rely on glass optical components—such as ones made from fused silica and quartz—to focus or separate light to perform their operations.
  • Optical system components. Fused silica and quartz are used in the manufacture of many optical parts—such as lenses, mirrors, UV and IR transmitting optics, and metrology components—due to their ability to transmit light in the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared range.  
  • Semiconductors. The purity of the two materials is particularly essential for components such as semiconductors, which play a role in many systems used in critical applications.
  • UV light sanitation. UV light sanitation serves as a non-toxic alternative to disinfection. As both fused silica and quartz demonstrate high thermal and radiation resistance, they are suitable for use in equipment subjected to such operations, such as semiconductor components and medical and laboratory instruments.   

Fused Silica and Quartz Glass From Swift Glass

At Swift Glass, we have provided quality custom glass fabrication for nearly 100 years. We stock a wide range of fused silica and quartz glasses from a variety of manufacturers, each of which offers unique advantages. For example, our fused silica demonstrates a cross-linked, three-dimensional structure that results in high thermal shock resistance, UV and IR transparency, and near-zero thermal expansion. Some of our other product offerings include: 

  • Industrial- and commercial-grade fused silica and quartz for sight glasses
  • UV-fused silica for applications requiring low content of inclusion and/or high refractive index homogeneity

For additional information about fused silica and quartz or our products and services, contact us or request a quote today. 

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