Molding of Glass and Forging of Iron
Other Facts about Heat
The fire which is hot enough to melt a lump of ice may not be hot enough to melt an iron poker; on the other hand, it may be sufficiently hot to melt a tin spoon. Different substances melt, or liquefy, at different temperatures; for example, ice melts at 0° C., and tin at 233° C., while iron requires the relatively high temperature of 1200° C. Most substances have a definite melting or freezing point which never changes so long as the surrounding conditions remain the same.
But while most substances have a definite melting point, some substances do not. If a glass rod is held in a Bunsen burner, it will gradually grow softer and softer, and finally a drop of molten glass will fall from the end of the rod into the fire. The glass did not suddenly become a liquid at a definite temperature; instead it softened gradually, and then melted. While glass is in the soft, yielding, pliable state, it is molded into dishes, bottles, and other useful objects, such as lamp shades, globes, etc.. If glass melted at a definite temperature, it could not be molded in this way. Iron acts in a similar manner, and because of this property the blacksmith can shape his horseshoes, and the workman can make his engines and other articles of daily service to man.
FIG. - Molten glass being rolled into a form suitable for window panes.