Scientific Glassblowing Class

The objective of this course is to acquaint the student with basic glassblowing hand operations and techniques. Each class period will begin with a brief demonstration of the particular glass seal to be accomplished, followed by “hands-on” practice of each seal by the student. Successful completion of the course will enable most students to accomplish routine glassblowing tasks encountered in the lab. It will also give you a solid background for preparing sketches and plans that are submitted to the Glass Shop for construction. The following items will be discussed before we begin the glassblowing lessons:
Safety in the Glass Lab Most of the safety procedures we will follow are similar to those of any chemistry lab. We will be working around open flames, hot glassware, and sharp edges on the glassware. The following is a list of important rules for the glass lab: 1. Safety glasses are required at all times. ∗ Each student will be provided with a pair of Didymium glassblowing glasses. These glasses filter the bright sodium glare produced when the glass is heated. ∗ Welder’s goggles are required when working quartz or Vycor glass. These goggles filter harmful ultraviolet light produced as the quartz is heated. 2. Heat only clean, solvent free glassware. ∗ Never heat glass with volatile or toxic materials inside. If you must heat glassware under these conditions, do so in a hood with a safety shield. Also, attach a trapped blow hose to the glass so that you do not inhale vapors from inside the apparatus. ∗ After rinsing glassware with solvents, air dry the apparatus to make certain that no solvent remains. (Explosion could result.) ∗ Metal vapors must never be present in glass to be heated. The most common metal encountered in glassware is mercury. Remove all traces of mercury before heating and blowing on this glassware. ∗ Silicone stopcock grease is another source of contamination in heated glassware. A fine white powder (silica) is produced when heated to high temperatures. This silica will fire into the glass and, in turn, weaken it. 3. Protective clothing ∗ Sandals are not recommended footwear. ∗ Long hair should be tied back when working around open flames. ∗ Avoid wearing synthetic clothing that will burn and melt when exposed to flames or hot glass. ∗ Roll up long sleeves so they won’t catch on fire. ∗ Heat insulated gloves are available to handle hot glassware.
2 4. First Aid ∗ IMMEDIATELY tell instructor you are injured. ∗ For minor cuts, Band-Aids will be available. ∗ Severe cuts may require treatment at the Student Health Center. ∗ For burns, immediate immersion in ice water is the best treatment for minor burns to the hands. An ice bath will be available during all class periods. 5. Know location of each of the following: ∗ Fire blanket ∗ Fire extinguisher ∗ Fire alarm ∗ Safety shower ∗ Eye wash 6. General safety rules: ∗ Never hand the instructor a piece of hot glassware. ∗ No eating or drinking in the glass lab. ∗ Use common sense. ∗ Report all accidents to the instructor immediately.
Equipment This section describes the tools and burners that we will be using during the class. Each student will be issued the following equipment: 1. Bench mounted torch 2. File or glass knife 3. Flat graphite 4. Graphite rod 5. Tweezers 6. Corrugated cardboard 7. Cork stopper assortment 8. Cork stopper with tube assortment 9. Ruler 10. Blow hose 11. Didymium glassblowing glasses


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