February 27, 2020

The Material World

Glass is basically melted sand. Modern commercial glass recipes have some other things thrown in, including recycled glass, but it starts with sand, which is mostly silicon dioxide.

Steel is basically iron with a hint of carbon. To get the properties which give steel its advantages over iron, though, the carbon must be added in just the right amount and conditions.

Concrete is basically a mixture of rocks, cement, air, and water. Cement, in turn, is a mixture of lime, silica, alumina, and gypsum, almost all from natural sources like limestone, chalk, coral and shell deposits.