The Multiple Uses For Fused Quartz

Industrial & Manufacturing Blog

There are many different applications for fused quartz. Fused quartz often comes as a rod or tube and can be used as a whole or in parts. Before going into some of the more interesting applications, it is best to know what fused quarts is.

Fused quartz, also known as fused silica, is composed of silicon dioxide in non-crystalline form.  Fused quartz has no other, added components and is therefore very useful for processes or products requiring high optical clarity or a wide range of thermal tolerance. There is some distinction made between fused quartz and fused silica, as "fused silica" is made from entirely synthetic materials while "fused quartz" is made from melted grains that occur naturally.

So, what are some of the uses for fused quartz?

  • Electric elements. In tube form, fused quartz can be used to replace the heating elements in industrial furnaces or room heaters.
  • Silicon wafers for semiconductors.  Fused quartz can tolerate extremely high heat without warping. This makes fused quartz an excellent material for managing raw material used to make semiconductors. Fused quartz tubing is used to create the furnace chamber for making silicon wafers.
  • Quartz lab equipment. Lab equipment is subjected to many extremes. Fused quartz rods are able to tolerate those extremes and thus are the material of choice for making quartzware used in all types of laboratories.
  • "Germicidal" lighting.  Whoever thought of using lighting as a disinfectant? But special quartz tubing can be used to block UV-A and UV-B rays.
  • Fiber optic tubing.  Since fused quartz has such high purity, it is also used for transmitting data as part of fiber optic cabling. The fused quartz can be either naturally occurring or synthetic. Synthetic-based fused silica has some advantages for fiber optic cabling as it can be used for longer distances.
  • Monocrystalline crucibles. Crucibles made out of fused silica are used to handle the raw material required to eventually create the photovoltaic cells used for solar power. The high heat tolerance and low impurities from the crucibles themselves make fused silica-based crucibles ideal for the solar cell process.
  • High-grade optics.  Fused quartz is also used in one of the oldest scientific practices, astronomy. Since the optical clarity is so high, fused quartz is excellent for the precision optics required in precise telescopes. Multiple layers of fused quartz can be put together to make high-end optics for cameras, as well.

Fused quartz rods, tubing, and other forms are used widely in industrial processes. Fused quartz has enabled some of the most cutting advances in semi-conductors, computers, and solar power. To learn more about fused quartz and its uses, talk to a professional at companies like Carter Glassblowing Inc. 


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