Straight Dope Message Board

Straight Dope Message Board (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/index.php)
-   General Questions (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/forumdisplay.php?f=3)
-   -   World's largest pane of glass? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=525299)

Tom Tildrum 07-21-2009 12:20 PM

World's largest pane of glass?
 
Is this the sort of thing for which world records are kept? What/where is the largest single pane of glass?

No reason for asking; just curious.

Magiver 07-21-2009 12:31 PM

depends how you define pane. The older telescopes would easily qualify as the largest piece of glass by volume. If you mean the flat surface area measurement that would be a different question.

astro 07-21-2009 12:41 PM

Sydney - claimed as largest
http://www.jaunted.com/story/2009/7/...s+In+The+World

New York
http://content.techrepublic.com.com/...ml?tag=nl.e101

garygnu 07-21-2009 01:17 PM

Those don't look like single panes of glass. My guess is an aquarium. The viewing window at Okinawa, discussed in this thread, is claimed to be the second largest, but no clues about the largest yet. The Wikipedia entry on the Georgia Aquarium says, without citation, that its large viewing window is second largest, but again makes no mention of the one that beats it.

Fear Itself 07-21-2009 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garygnu (Post 11362520)
Those don't look like single panes of glass. My guess is an aquarium. The viewing window at Okinawa, discussed in this thread, is claimed to be the second largest, but no clues about the largest yet. The Wikipedia entry on the Georgia Aquarium says, without citation, that its large viewing window is second largest, but again makes no mention of the one that beats it.

Are those made of glass? I would be surprised if they are, I would expect them to be made of polycarbonate or some other polymer plastic

Telemark 07-21-2009 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by garygnu (Post 11362520)
Those don't look like single panes of glass.

Are you sure? They look like single panes (as stated in the article) that are braced so they don't flex.

KneadToKnow 07-21-2009 01:52 PM

"Music in Twelve Parts" should qualify as one of the largest pains of Glass.

Telemark 07-21-2009 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KneadToKnow (Post 11362688)
"Music in Twelve Parts" should qualify as one of the largest pains of Glass.

Of course in the middle of the US there are Great Plains of Grass.

Tom Tildrum 07-21-2009 03:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telemark (Post 11362736)
Of course in the middle of the US there are Great Plains of Grass.

Stay focused, people. ;)

Some good answers so far.

CC 07-21-2009 03:44 PM

What was a moderately interesting thread has now become a large pain in the ass.

BrandonR 07-21-2009 04:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telemark (Post 11362655)
Are you sure? They look like single panes (as stated in the article) that are braced so they don't flex.

They appear to be several different pieces of glass rather than one continuous piece: http://www.bandlem.com/Xmas/2006/AppleStoreNY.jpg

garygnu 07-21-2009 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 11362595)
Are those made of glass? I would be surprised if they are, I would expect them to be made of polycarbonate or some other polymer plastic

It is described as acrylic glass, so it's not "glass" glass.

IIRC, the glass used in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion (actual glass this time) were the largest at the time, but they've probably been superseded by now.

Also, The New Republic was stained by Glass. The Kansas City Royals are a very plain baseball team owned by Glass. And finally, the US Supreme Court found in 1985 that Louisiana was not causing undue pain in Glass.

Whack-a-Mole 07-21-2009 04:40 PM

Probably not glass but the world's largest viewing panel is at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Pretty freaking big.

Oukile 07-21-2009 04:43 PM

The main tank at Osaka Aquarium looks pretty big.


Quote:

The tanks used in the aquarium are made of 314 tonnes of acrylic glass - roughly 1.5 times the world's annual production. The largest single pane measures six meters by five meters by thirty centimeters and weighs roughly 10 tons.

AncientHumanoid 07-21-2009 04:46 PM

never mind, the cite I found was bogus

Whack-a-Mole 07-21-2009 04:47 PM

This guy claims the New Jersey Aquarium has the largest single pane of glass. I have found no backup for this assertion though so take with a grain of salt.

Quote:

The round 760,000 gallon Open Ocean Tank is about 17 feet deep except in a section that is called the Abyss. Here the bottom has been deepened (24 ft) and the steel wall has been replaced by the world's largest single pane of glass

SOURCE: http://divemar.com/divermag/archives.../aquarium.html

Whack-a-Mole 07-21-2009 04:52 PM

I have seen a couple of cites stating that this ranch has the largest single pane of glass in North America. It measures 33'x10'.

Lima Peaks Ranch

The Hamster King 07-21-2009 04:53 PM

There was an article in the L.A. Times a few weeks ago about the 50th anniversary of the Stahl House. It mentioned that the house was designed to use the largest size of commercially available plate glass at the time it was built. Presumably glass tech has improved some since 1959.

gotpasswords 07-21-2009 08:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Hamster King
Presumably glass tech has improved some since 1959.

It's improved a lot just in the past few years.

In 2003, 2.5 x 6 meters was just about the biggest piece of laminated glass on the planet.

Five years later, in 2008, the laminated glass at Apple's Sydney store is two and a half times taller.

I'm not sure how they're measuring - probably in terms of single, non-laminated pieces - but Schott claims several "largest" records. They say they made the largest piece of glass in the world - an 8-meter diameter telescope mirror.

And, you probably won't catch me on the world's largest self-supporting glass staircase. (As of 2006, at least) The ones at the Apple stores give me the willies as it is, but this one is much more open - no risers, no bolts and much less hardware to provide visual assurance that the thing isn't about to collapse.

t-bonham@scc.net 07-23-2009 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Whack-a-Mole (Post 11363439)
I have seen a couple of cites stating that this ranch has the largest single pane of glass in North America. It measures 33'x10'.

I think we're back to optical telescopes as the largest, then.

The largest is 10.4 meters diameter, and there are several of 10 meters. That's quite a bit larger face area than these panes of glass. Even if we don't consider that they are thicker, and much more complicated than a simple sheet of window glass, they are still larger.

Whack-a-Mole 07-23-2009 01:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net (Post 11368722)
I think we're back to optical telescopes as the largest, then.

The largest is 10.4 meters diameter, and there are several of 10 meters. That's quite a bit larger face area than these panes of glass. Even if we don't consider that they are thicker, and much more complicated than a simple sheet of window glass, they are still larger.

Yeah.

Guess the OP has to define a "pane" of glass. Just the biggest hunk-'o-glass there is or an actual pane? And for biggest are we talking surface area or weight?

Whack-a-Mole 07-23-2009 02:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gotpasswords (Post 11364071)
And, you probably won't catch me on the world's largest self-supporting glass staircase. (As of 2006, at least) The ones at the Apple stores give me the willies as it is, but this one is much more open - no risers, no bolts and much less hardware to provide visual assurance that the thing isn't about to collapse.

I live in Chicago and the Apple staircase gives me the willies too. That seemingly unsupported one is downright disconcerting...cool but disconcerting.

We must be weird though. I point out to my friends when we go to that store that the staircase is glass and they literally seem to not process that at all. It's a staircase to them...who cares what it is made out of? Then I watch them blithely trot up the stairs and watch the stair flex under their weight and I cringe.

The stairs are pretty damn cool though.

bugme 10-21-2009 02:05 AM

just dropped by because i was looking for the same thing
wikipedia says that Monterey Bay Aquarium has the largest single paned window, the citation link mentions it under "How much water is in the Outer Bay Waters exhibit?" I would also be interested in seeing a list of these things,

Francis Vaughan 10-21-2009 05:13 AM

I would be inclined to disqualify acrylic - it isn't a glass. It is a cast resin. It is only glass in so far as it is a transparent sheet.

There are a lot of single piece 8 metre diameter telescopes - they are spin cast by Roger Angel. This size is the technical limit of his process. The trick is that a spun liquid will form a parabaloid. So he fills a mould with glass pieces, starts it spinning around its axis, heats it up, lets the glass melt, form the right shape in the mould and then slowly (very slowly) cools it. Two advantages - the mirror's surface is already close to the right shape, so a lot less work is needed. But more importantly - you don't have huge changes to the internal stresses of the glass from removing all that extra glass. So making a single slab mirror that keeps its shape is possible. Bigger than this it gets pretty difficult.

SuperStu 06-12-2011 08:58 AM

Largest Glass Pane
 
I work in the glass industry and the largest I have worked with is a panel of 15000mm x 4000mm x 25mm. This panel was a technical challenge to say the least and moving this from the factory in Northern China to the store where it was installed cost nearly $300,000 alone.
I guess this qualifies as the largest.

Stuart

Disheavel 06-12-2011 11:03 AM

Thanks SuperStu! 15m x 4m. Was the glass for use just as a window? or some specialized purpose?

dtilque 06-13-2011 01:39 AM

glass zombies want ...... paaaaanes!

Some people above cite 10 meter telescope mirrors. I believe all such are segmented, usually with 36 segments making up the entire mirror.

AFAIK, the 8 meter mirrors that Francis Vaughan mentions are the largest single-piece telescope mirrors around.

emathias 03-17-2017 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperStu (Post 13906695)
I work in the glass industry and the largest I have worked with is a panel of 15000mm x 4000mm x 25mm. This panel was a technical challenge to say the least and moving this from the factory in Northern China to the store where it was installed cost nearly $300,000 alone.
I guess this qualifies as the largest.

Stuart

These panes being installed in Chicago's new Apple store being constructed on Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River look to be nearly that size:

http://i.imgur.com/9TZ2QV4.jpg

boffking 03-17-2017 11:09 AM

I would look near volcanoes. Obsidian is a type of glass. What is the largest single piece of obsidian?

DrCube 03-17-2017 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boffking (Post 20073659)
I would look near volcanoes. Obsidian is a type of glass. What is the largest single piece of obsidian?

I would argue that a "pane" of glass is by definition man-made.

RealityChuck 03-17-2017 11:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by astro (Post 11362329)
I think these glass store front panes are among the largest in the world

The Sydney AU store claims to have the largest

Watch out. That link brings up a fake virus warning. You'll need to shut down your browser via task manager to quit it.

Musicat 03-17-2017 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 20073766)
Watch out. That link brings up a fake virus warning. You'll need to shut down your browser via task manager to quit it.

Fake, probably. But I was able to close the tab in Chrome to exit it with no problems.

Leaffan 03-17-2017 12:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by emathias (Post 20073328)
These panes being installed in Chicago's new Apple store being constructed on Michigan Avenue at the Chicago River look to be nearly that size:

http://i.imgur.com/9TZ2QV4.jpg

Careful.
Blocked at work for potentially adult content. AKA pr0n.

Darren Garrison 03-17-2017 01:24 PM

It is just a photograph. Your content blocking software is a moron.

cmkeller 03-17-2017 02:15 PM

garygnu:

Quote:

The Kansas City Royals are a very plain baseball team owned by Glass.
A bit less plain in recent years. :)

beowulff 03-17-2017 02:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan (Post 11686599)
I would be inclined to disqualify acrylic - it isn't a glass. It is a cast resin. It is only glass in so far as it is a transparent sheet.

There are a lot of single piece 8 metre diameter telescopes - they are spin cast by Roger Angel. This size is the technical limit of his process. The trick is that a spun liquid will form a parabaloid. So he fills a mould with glass pieces, starts it spinning around its axis, heats it up, lets the glass melt, form the right shape in the mould and then slowly (very slowly) cools it. Two advantages - the mirror's surface is already close to the right shape, so a lot less work is needed. But more importantly - you don't have huge changes to the internal stresses of the glass from removing all that extra glass. So making a single slab mirror that keeps its shape is possible. Bigger than this it gets pretty difficult.

I know that this is a Zombie, but for anyone interested the Steward Mirror Lab gives tours, and you can see the mirrors in production. When I went there, they were polishing the dual-profile mirror for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.

Evan Drake 03-17-2017 04:33 PM

If the OP's still around:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum (Post 11362239)
Is this the sort of thing for which world records are kept? What/where is the largest single pane of glass?


Pilkingtons invented modern float glass back in 1953. I'd guess if anyone keeps records of glass history it would be them. You could send an email.





Between 1953 and 1957, Sir Alastair Pilkington and Kenneth Bickerstaff of the UK's Pilkington Brothers developed the first successful commercial application for forming a continuous ribbon of glass using a molten tin bath on which the molten glass flows unhindered under the influence of gravity. The success of this process lay in the careful balance of the volume of glass fed onto the bath, where it was flattened by its own weight. Full scale profitable sales of float glass were first achieved in 1960.

Wikipedia --- Float Glass


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:40 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC.