New Glass-Melting Technologies For Manufacturing Glass Fiber

Owens Corning’s, Amarillo plant which is one of the largest glass-melting facilities in the world and makes more than 350 products with about 700 workers, scheduled to launch new glass-melting technologies to cut costs, reduce emissions and help fend off global competition.

The project will cost total $3.5 million and $3 million out of that is the cost of oxygen-production plant.

"All glass is melted sand with other ingredients added to make it a better glass or to make it melt better," said Facilities Business Leader Art Richards. "The product we make is fine fiber -- finer than your hair. The most obvious things it goes into are boats and Corvettes, but it's all around you." The furnaces are being re-engineered to burn nearly pure oxygen extracted from the air instead a mixture of natural gas. Oxygen burns hotter and cleaner than natural gas. It also melts glass more efficiently.

"We've installed a plant that generates 95 percent pure oxygen. Instead of using normal air to mix with natural gas to burn in our furnaces and melt our glass, we're using that 95 percent pure oxygen to mix with the natural gas and melt our glass," Richards said.

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600450 New Glass-Melting Technologies For Manufacturing Glass Fiber
Date: 5 December 2006

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