Silica is the major ingredient in virtually all types of glass. The principal glass products include containers (bottles and jars), flat glass (windows, mirrors, vehicle glazing etc.), lighting glass (light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, etc.), tableware (lead crystal, drinking glasses etc.), TV tubes and screens, decorative glass, fibreglass, optical glass and vacuum flasks.
Silica has a high melting point, 1610 degrees C. This enables castings to be produced by pouring molten metal into moulds made out of silica sand.
Silica that has been ground to fine size is an ingredient of most clay bodies and is a major constituent of ceramic glazes. Typical everyday products include tableware, sanitary ware, ornaments and wall and floor tiles.
Closely sized grades of silica sand is the principal filtration medium used by the water industry to extract solids from wastewater.
Silica has many other applications including the manufacture of chemicals and metals, fillers in numerous products, plastic and otherwise, the manufacture of refractories, stimulating oil production and as additives in agricultural and horticultural products