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Detecting the Tin Side of Float Glass


Model TS380

General Description:

During the production of float glass, one side of the molten glass comes into contact with a bath of molten tin. Traces of tin or tin oxide are deposited on the surface of glass as it is removed from the molten tin bath. This surface of the glass is identified as the "TIN SIDE". The opposite side of the glass is denoted as the "AIR SIDE". The presence of the tin is invisible to the human eye.

People who work with float glass find it beneficial to know which surface of the glass is the tin side, since that side of the glass results in a smoother surface, but will react negatively with paints and enamels. It is also important to locate the tin side in bending and slumping operations, as better results can be achieved by keeping the tin side on the surface which is being stretched.

The Tin Side Detector is very helpful in identifying the tin side as the short-wave UV radiation causes the tin to glow with a fluorescent (milky white) light. When the lamp is placed on the tin-side and viewed through the glass a fluorescent glow will be observed. With the lamp on the non-tin side and viewed through the glass only the violet UV light will be seen, this is because the float glass does not transmit the UV light and the tin coating on the opposite side of the glass is not exposed to the UV radiation.

UV light is not visible to the human eye and although the UV lamp may appear dim, you should be aware that this is only a small percentage of the intensity being emitted by the lamp. Your eyes cannot detect the full intensity of the short-wave UV lamp.

Never look directly at a UV source as you may suffer eye damage. We recommend wearing UV blocking safety glasses.

Basic Operation:

You can detect the tin-side using the TS380 by two different methods. You can either choose to view the UV light through the glass by placing it on the underneath side of the glass, OR you can tilt the TS380 on the top surface of the glass and view the reflection. You may find that one approach may work better for certain glass samples and various lighting conditions. Before performing any tests, we recommend putting on the UV blocking safety glasses.

Through Glass Testing:

To test glass using the bottom side method, place the TS380 on the under side of the glass, as shown in Figure 1. Turn on the power, but do not view the image of the lamp unless it is placed behind the glass. If the bottom side is the TIN SIDE of the glass, the image of the lamp will appear milky white (Figure 1). The intensity of the lamp may even appear to get stronger. In certain situations it may be easier to view the milky white image at a slight angle. Viewing the image at an angle is especially helpful when working with tinted and reflective glass.

If the bottom surface of the glass is not the TIN SIDE, then it is the AIR SIDE and the lamp image in the glass will appear normal (violet colour), like (Figure 2).

Tin Side: Milky White Image

Figure 1

Air Side (Not Tin Side): Dull Violet Lamp Image

Figure 2

Top Side Method:

To test glass using the top side method, place the TS380 on the top surface of the glass, as shown in Figure 3. Using this method, it is important that you put on your UV blocking safety glasses. Turn on the power, but do not look directly at the lamp. Tilt the unit at a slight angle so you can view the reflection of the lamp.

If the reflection of the lamp on the glass appears milky white (Figure 3), then the top surface of the glass is the tin side. Again, the intensity of the lamps reflection may even appear to get stronger.

If the top surface of the glass is not the tin side, then it is the air side. The air side of the glass will result in the lamp image appearing normal (violet colour), like (Figure 4).

Tin Side: Milky White Image

Figure 3

Air Side (Not Tin Side): Dull Violet Lamp Image

 

Figure 4

Note: This method may work better in a darkened room.

Battery Replacement:

The TS380 is powered by four 1.5v AA batteries. If the lamp stops operating or becomes dim, replace the batteries. Before replacing the batteries, be sure to turn the power off. To access the battery compartment, remove the cover on the end of the enclosure by pressing the thumb in the centre of the cover and sliding over and off. Replace the batteries and replace the cover. Be sure to install the batteries correctly (polarity +/-). A polarity sticker is included inside the battery compartment. Installing the batteries with incorrect polarity may cause permanent damage to the lamp and will not be covered by the product warranty. If the unit is going to be stored for more than a month, we recommend removing the batteries during storage.

Note: It is important to turn off the lamp when not in use as depleted batteries can damage the UV tube.

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