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American Glass Research
Volume 2 / Issue 2
Phil Ross

Excerpts from Interview with 50 year glass industry veteran Phil Ross

Phil Ross has worked in the glass industry for over 50 years and is celebrating his 20th year with American Glass Research as a Seminar Instructor specializing in Batch and Furnace Operations and Stone Analysis.

What would you say have been the most significant changes to Batch and Furnace operations in your 50 years in the industry?
Instrumentation, sensors and controls allowing us to gain more insight into the entire glass manufacturing process.  In the glass melting furnace, the application of mathematical and computer modeling is allowing us to better understand what is happening with combustion, heat transfer, and glass convection.

What are the challenges you see facing the glass industry?
The Manufacturing process continues to struggle and move from art to science.  It must evolve to have a more technical scientific basis for our operating practices.  We must provide training and a solid foundation on both “how” and “why” we do things, while showing a better way of doing it.

What would you tell someone just starting a career in our industry?
Never be afraid to ask questions from experienced individuals.

Where do you foresee innovations in the future for the industry?
The biggest area of need is in glass fabrication. We need to incorporate more sensors in this process to understand what is happening with the glass temperature and viscosity, as this area has many manufacturing defects. A better understanding of variables requiring tighter control could lead to higher productivity.

To read the full interview with Phil, click here.

Do you have any questions for Phil? You can Ask Our Experts.



Historic AGR Legacy Paper now released

AGR has made another historic Legacy Paper available. Entitled “The Strength of Inorganic Glasses,” the paper is one of the cornerstones of experimental research relating to glass strength and was written by Dr. Richard Mould in 1967. It can be viewed or downloaded from our website. Dr. Mould was a leading Research Scientist at Preston Laboratories, which later became American Glass Research. Go to our White Papers to read more. This is the third legacy paper made available by AGR this year.

Dr. Wenke Hu

American Glass Research Expands Presence and Connections in China

Recently, AGR sales Representative Yong Zhu assumed additional responsibilities for the promotion of American Glass Research services in China. A tour to raise awareness of AGR capabilities that included Senior Scientist, Dr. Wenke Hu was accomplished over a three week period in April and May.

The tour included numerous visits to major breweries and glass container manufacturers and propelled the pair of AGR representatives through 5 different provinces in China. American Glass Research also visited and was invited to join the China Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (CASME) – Glass Expert Committee. 

Dr. Hu’s primary areas of expertise include Comprehensive Container Development and Performance Testing with a focus on Lightweighting and Container Design Stress Analysis. Dr. Hu also participated in a Private Training Seminar in Yantai, China along with AGR Senior Scientist, Gary Smay.

To learn more about our Comprehensive Container Development Services click here or to schedule a Private Training Seminar click here.


Stone Analysis

Stone Analysis

Five Things to Know about Stones

1. Stones are typically crystalline inclusions encased in glass.

2. Regardless of their physical size, stones have the potential to lead to breakage in container glass.

3. While there are numerous causes, the three most common sources of stones are refractory erosion, batch/ raw materials contaminants and devitrification.

4. Stones can differ in thermal expansion coefficient as compared to the surrounding glass which can produce cracks that weaken the glass.

5. Specific type of stone can be identified through analytical techniques such as optical microscopy, thin section crystallography, scanning electron microscope (SEM) examination and energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) analysis. The identification leads to conclusions regarding likely sources and actions needed to avoid future stone problems.

To learn more about our expertise in stone identification or to develop your own expertise in our Stone Identification seminar, click here.


Ask Our Experts

Q: What testing is available to measure heavy metals in glass containers?

A: At AGR, we can test for heavy metal content of the glass using proprietary lab methods which dissolve the glass in acids and instrumentally measure the amount of lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, and arsenic.  NIOSH wipe tests, EPA 3050B, or ASTM/ISO leaching tests are used to determine the lead and cadmium released from the food contact or lip and rim surfaces of decorated glass or ceramic tableware.


Fracture Mirror

While this image evokes the appearance of  “A Preserved Explosion”, this is actually a fracture mirror. The term “mirror” originated from early optical microscope observations of fracture origins where it was noted that the smoothness of the mirror region reflected light like a mirror. The mirror region encompasses a fracture origin and is defined by the start of the fine or mist hackle which transitions into the granular appearing coarse hackle. The hackle is a form of micro branching created by the energy of the fracture event and usually indicates that the fracture has reached its terminal velocity. For soda lime silica glass the fracture would have accelerated from zero to a velocity of approximately 1500 m/s in just the time and distance required to form the mirror region.



A new Training Seminar entitled “Audit of Glass Plant Operations” has been added from Sept. 29–30th to the 2015 Fall Training Calendar and will be conducted by Senior Scientist Peter de Haan in Butler, PA, USA.

In Europe, our Training schedule resumes in September in Krakow, Poland with “Advanced Testing & Fracture Diagnosis,” “Coating Technology” and “Evaluation & Lightweighting of Glass Container Designs,” in October we return to Munich, Germany for three additional training sessions.

To learn more or to register for a Training Seminar, click here.

American Glass Research
603 Evans City Road, Butler, PA 16001
Tel: +1 (724) 482-2163

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