Glass and plastic or not very similar to each other, it is easy to tell their differences. One can tell the difference between a glass and a plastic through qualities such as appearance, texture, value and so on and so on.
Here are some aspects by which you can distinguish between a glass and a plastic:
Materials from which they are made
Glass is made from sand. It is made from ordinary sand which is heated until it melts and becomes a liquid. During the process of glass making, sand is mixed with soda ash, limestone, and waste glass and then all these are heated together until they form an amorphous material. When this product cools, it forms glass. Ordinary sand contains Silicon dioxide and that’s the reason why you could perhaps have heard that glass is made from silica.
Plastic on the other hand is usually made from petroleum oils or other organic mate-rials.
In material science, malleability refers to the ability of a material to get deformed when compressive stress is applied on it. It is in essence the ability of a material to form thin sheets through hammering or rolling.
Plastic is malleable while glass is not. Plastic usually changes shape when a com-pressive is applied on it. Glass on the other hand does not change shape when a compressive force is applied on it. It can instead get shattered into pieces unlike plastics which can just get deformed but still be intact.
In engineering terms, brittleness refers to the lack of ductility, that is the ability of a material to be deformed by elongation without fracture. A material is referred to as brittle if when under compressive stress, it breaks without first getting deformed. In simpler language, a brittle material is a material that can easily break or get dam-aged.
Glass is more brittle compared to plastic. Chances are for example higher that a bowl made from glass will get broken when dropped on the ground than there are that a plastic bowl will break. Glass is brittle because it has little tensile strength.
Glass is heavier compared to plastic. The reason why glass is heavier than plastic is because glass has more mass per volume unit compared to plastic. Plastic tend to have many microscopic air balls within their structure. These air balls which have been trapped inside the plastics structure cause the plastics to have a higher volume and this in turn leads to a lower density. Glass on the other hand is made up of few-er and smaller microscopic air balls and are thus denser than plastics. Glass also generally has larger and heavier molecules compared to plastic.
Glass is more environmentally friendly compared to plastic. First of all, the process of making glass isn’t as damaging to the environment as that of making plastics. The manufacture of plastics may lead to the emission of poisonous gases into the at-mosphere. Secondly, glass is more durable and it can easily be reused compared to plastics which many people usually throw away. Glasses tend to litter the environ-ment less compared to plastics. If for example you visit a waste collection point, chances are that you will find more plastics among the wastes than glasses.
Glass is also safer to use than plastic because glass is inert. Plastic on the other hand is capable of undergoing chemical reactions. The aspect of being inert could perhaps explain why glass is usually preferred for warming food in a microwave. In addition, glass is also less flammable than plastic.