Quartz glass does not have a crystalline structure; rather it is amorphous and produced from silicon compounds during the vaporization stage of the chemical reaction. It is one of the purest materials used in industrial applications today and its purity is what gives it excellent high temperature and visibility properties. Quartz glass does occur naturally, so large amounts are required for the broad range of applications which use quartz glass.
Glass fabricators are able to manufacture it from silica using high heat. However, the quartz glass which is produced for industrial purposes may have impurities due to the particulars of the fabrication process, or the quality of the starting materials. Among its many valuable properties, quartz glass doesn’t change color under the process of radiation and it exhibits high resistance to radiation.
Furthermore, quartz glass has low optical absorption, good elasticity, high form stability, low material fatigue, high chemical resistance and electrical insulation making it a good heat resistant glass. Quartz glass also has a higher ultraviolet transmission rate than other types of glass.
This type of glass has many different uses, especially for fiber optics, semiconductors, metrology and communication technology industries. Common objects such as windows, lenses, mirror substrates and UV or halogen lamps are all made from quartz glass because of its physical properties. Quartz glass exhibits high temperature resistance because of the strong bonds between its molecules which require large amounts of energy to be broken.
Its operating temperatures are up to four times higher than those of standard glass up to about 2200 °F, and its thermal coefficient is low, making it an ideal material choice for precision mirror substrates and for items such as furnaces. It is an ideal material for high temperature scientific procedures where borosilicate glass is unable to resist the levels of heat.
In cases such as these, quartz glass can be used for elements such as tubes, crucibles or flasks which are directly exposed to the source of heat without changing form. It also has high levels of thermal shock resistance and so can be used for those applications. The optical permeability of quartz glass is extremely high and even thick panes of quartz glass are clear. Further uses include chip production, optical data transmission and laser technology.